Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t to discuss garment wage

Gov’t to discuss garment wage

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, and employer and union representatives will meet next month to discuss the 2020 minimum wage for garment workers. Heng Chivoan

Gov’t to discuss garment wage

The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, and employer and union representatives will meet next month to discuss the 2020 minimum wage for workers in the garment and footwear sectors, where unions expect an increase of between $20 and $25 a month.

The government has increased the minimum wage for garment workers every year since 2014. The 2019 minimum wage was set at $182 a month.

On Wednesday, the ministry issued a letter calling for relevant parties to conduct internal discussions before the tripartite meeting, which will be held next month.

“The national council meeting will be held in October 2019 to determine the 2020 minimum wage for workers in the garment and footwear sector. The new minimum wage will be effective on January 1, 2020,” read the letter, signed by Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng.

The ministry urged relevant parties to use social factors – such as family conditions, inflation and current living expenses, and economic factors such as productivity, national competitiveness, the current labour market situation and profitability in the sector as well as the poverty line as the basis for its judgement.

“All involved parties must study data and scientific research which focuses on seven factors, as stated in Article 5 of the Law on Minimum Wage as the basis for their internal discussions and overall position,” the letter read.

Cambodian Labour Confederation president Ath Thorn told The Post on Thursday that according to his research, the minimum wage for the sector will increase between $20 and $25. He said he will cite his research during his discussion with union leaders to reach an acceptable figure.

“We say it’ll be an increase between $20 and $25 from the base salary because we met with factory garment workers. Most of them want the increase to be that amount. There are other reasons."

“If we demand too much during the discussion, they will reject our demand because, in recent years, the increase has only been between $10 and $15 per year. Most workers said if we can achieve that figure, their livelihoods would be improved significantly,” said Thorn.

He argued that the minimum wage should be around $300 to respond to the Kingdom’s current socio-economic situation, noting that inflation had been between three and four per cent each year.

Cambodian Labour Union Federation president Som Aun told The Post that he cannot release details of his research.

However, he said he will offer insight during discussions to provide maximum benefits for the workers, which will be acceptable for all parties,including employers.

Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia secretary-general Ken Loo told The Post on Thursday that after the ministry’s announcement, employers will start their internal discussions to determine their ability to raise the minimum wage.

“We’ve only started internal discussions … We cannot reveal ahead of time the figure that we will present to the tripartite meeting,” said Loo.

Ministry of Labour spokesperson Heng Sour told The Post that the date for the Labour Advisory Council meeting to officially set the minimum wage for 2020 has not been confirmed as yet.

MOST VIEWED

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • NA, Senate set for bill on ‘emergency’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested the Senate to convene an extraordinary meeting to review the draft law that aims to put the Kingdom in a state of emergency after the bill reached the National Assembly (NA) on Friday. The draft law, which was approved

  • Temporarily laid-off workers to get just $70

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced changes in the allowances for temporarily laid-off garment workers from receiving 60 per cent of the minimum wage to a flat $70 because factories cannot pay, he said. Workers will also not be required to attend training courses after more than 100 factories

  • Tourists can now prolong their stay

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said tourists holding Visa T and arriving in the Kingdom after January 1 will be allowed to prolong their stay until they are able to return home. The decision comes as Cambodia and most countries take measures to

  • PM: Law likely next week

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the draft law aiming to place the Kingdom in a state of emergency amid the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to be approved after the Khmer New Year, though he said there is a slim chance of enforcement given the current