Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - GMAC claims on true wages ‘exaggerated’

GMAC claims on true wages ‘exaggerated’

GMAC claims on true wages ‘exaggerated’

The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) said in a statement this week that under the new minimum wage workers can actually earn up to $250 per month, though others were quick to label the figure exaggerated.

The Ministry of Labour last week approved the new wage in Cambodia’s garment sector, which comes on top of legally required benefits such as transportation, accommodation and meal allowances. The new wage of $128 – up from $100 – will go into effect January 1.

“In reality, wage has many components,” the statement, posted to GMAC’s Facebook page on Wednesday, says. It concludes that “starting from January 2015, the total monthly take-home wage a worker will be able to earn is between US$225 and US$250”.

GMAC’s analysis includes legally mandated bonuses, such as $10 for attendance and $7 for travel and accommodation, as well as overtime, seniority and other factors.

While agreeing that workers will take home at least $135 each month next year, Dave Welsh, country director for labour rights group Solidarity Center, Welsh described GMAC’s $225 to $250 conclusion as “a huge embellishment”.

“By and large, workers will be making nowhere near that,” Welsh said yesterday. “If a worker chose not to sleep and factories ran 24 hours a day,” workers may be able to earn that much, Welsh said.

Che Chakrya, a 31-year-old garment worker at a factory in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district, also took issue with GMAC’s assessment yesterday. Working several overtime shifts a month, Chakrya earns about $160, which will presumably go up to $188 after the wage hike.

No garment workers Chakrya knows earns in the $200 range, she said.

“I don’t think workers can work enough hours every day to receive the amount GMAC calculated,” Chakrya said.

GMAC secretary-general Ken Loo could not be reached.

In a meeting yesterday between the International Labour Organization (ILO) deputy director-general for policy Sandra Polaski, Minister of Labour Ith Sam Heng and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong, Polaski praised the government for the new wage, Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said yesterday.

“[Polaski said] she understands that the will of the government is to always help workers and improve their living standards,” Kuong said.

ILO country director Tun Sophorn could not be reached yesterday to confirm Kuong’s statement about Polaski.

Welsh compared GMAC’s statement with their advertisement campaign this year insisting that the labour law does not include a right to strike; which was quickly proved incorrect.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Mr Pancake or M Crepe? Tasty by any title

    Crowds of people gather around a lone man with a mobile food cart every day at around 2pm in front of the Institut Francais du Cambodge to order what many say are the best crepes in Phnom Penh. To some – even to the man making

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Phnom Penh condo market loses steam

    Just four new condominiums were launched for sale last year in the capital, down from 17 in 2020, according to research by CBRE Cambodia. The four developments comprised “more than 1,000” units, while the 17 in 2020 consisted of 10,866, the real estate firm reported. CBRE Cambodia categorises condos as “high-range”, “

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused