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

  • Website advises travellers to stay clear of Angkor Wat

    An Australian website has advised travellers to avoid Angkor Wat during their trip to Southeast Asia because the ancient temple is showing signs of rapid erosion and faced water management issues. In a recent article entitled Best places to go in 2020: 12 destinations you should avoid

  • First deportees of the year touch down in Cambodia

    Twenty-five Cambodian-Americans landed in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, marking the first such deportations of the year. “On Wednesday, US law enforcement authorities deported 25 Cambodian nationals that immigration judges determined had no legal basis to remain in the US,” said Arend Zwartjes, spokesperson for the US

  • Passenger taxi boat ridership sinks despite free services

    Passenger taxi boat traffic has dropped by about five per cent compared to the same period last year, despite the government providing free service for garment workers until next year, Phnom Penh Autonomous Bus Transportation Authority director Ean Sokhim said on Monday. In 2018, the Phnom

  • Kingdom drafting new law to strengthen immigration

    The Ministry of Interior on Tuesday said it had formed a working group to draft amendments to the Law on Immigration. Its secretary of state Sok Phal told The Post that the amendments will strengthen the management of immigrants in line with the current situation.

  • Shipments of mango to South Korea poised to begin this week

    Exports of Cambodian mangoes to South Korea will begin this week after Korean authorities gave the nod. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ Department of Plant Protection, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Requirements director Ker Monthivuth told The Post on Sunday that after several inspections of

  • Qatar Airways to connect Doha and Siem Reap town

    Qatar Airways Company QCSC has announced a new route connecting Qatar’s capital Doha with Siem Reap, a move hailed by local officials as a significant step to boost tourist numbers. A Qatar Airways representative, speaking at the Kuwait Aviation Show, announced on Thursday that