The Council of Ministers on Friday approved the draft of the minimum wage law and the amendments to the Labour Law in a meeting presided by Prime Minister Hun Sen.
The draft of the minimum wage law was discussed a total of three times between unions, employers and the government before the latest version was sent to the meeting for approval.
The draft law was amended after National Assembly debates, with some articles being omitted entirely. The version that was passed consists of only 31 articles.
However, unions claim that they did not see the latest draft law before it was sent to the Council of Ministers.
Yang Sophorn, president of the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions (CATU), expressed shock that the latest version of the law was not revealed before being submitting to the Council of Ministers.
“Of course we are worried because the draft law that was sent to the council was not seen by us. It may not address key concerns and fail to benefit workers,” she said.
As for the amended articles of the Labour Law, Sophorn said CATU was not even aware that amendments were being made.
“The unions didn’t request for the amendment of the Labour Law and don’t know anything about it. We want the government to consider the rights and benefits of the workers,” Sophorn said.
William Conklin, country manager of NGO Solidarity Center, believes the draft minimum wage law had been debated in the past, adding that some aspects of the law had been removed.
He too said that the unions had not seen the latest version of the draft before it was sent to the Council of Ministers.
As for the Labour Law amendments, Conklin said he did not know of any.
“We have not seen the changes to the law. The latest draft should be shown to all parties involved before being sent for approval,” he said.
Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training spokesman, Heng Sour, could not be reached for comment.