Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Garment wage talks fall apart

Garment wage talks fall apart

Garment workers protest against big name brands at Canadia Industrial Park last month
Garment workers protest against big name brands at Canadia Industrial Park last month. They held placards demanding a salary of $177 a month. Hong Menea

Garment wage talks fall apart

The tripartite working group set up to negotiate and advise the Ministry of Labour’s Labour Advisory Committee (LAC) on next year’s minimum wage in Cambodia’s garment sector has stopped meeting after reaching a stalemate.

Made up of 27 members – nine each from employers, the government and unions – the group ended talks after a meeting last night, when employer representatives refused to budge from a monthly wage of $110 per month, said panel member Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers.

“Employers had no intention to increase wages to more than $110," Sina said. “The Labour Ministry said it could not be below $120," which is Cambodia’s poverty line.

Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia secretary general Ken Loo refused to comment.

Formation of the working group was announced by Minister of Labour Ith Sam Heng on October 14. Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour previously said the group would have no time limit, and would have to continue negotiating until reaching a consensus.

Sour could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The stalemate is not surprising, said Community Legal Education Center consultant Joel Preston, adding that the government had already formed enough committees and has enough information to decide 2015’s minimum wage.

“It’s just another example; we hear the government saying one thing, then the results are different,” Preston said. “We want to see dialogue, but we want to see results.”

Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union vice president Kong Athit said the group will send their report of each party’s suggested wage to the ministry.

All but one union agreed to accept $140. Over five meetings – the group was scheduled to meet each working day between October 20 and 30 – Cambodian Alliance Trade Union (CATU) president Yang Sophorn scoffed at settling for less than $177.

“I want all unions to keep the same stance, because it can show the employers that we are still strong,” Sophorn said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Cambodia purchases 4 million Molnupiravir tablets

    Cambodia has arranged for the purchase of four million US-made Molnupiravir pills – enough to treat 100,000 Covid-19 patients – even though the current rate of daily infections in Cambodia remains low. The medicine will be distributed to state hospitals, pharmacies and private clinics, according to the Samdech

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration