Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen continues to court factory workers

Hun Sen continues to court factory workers

Prime Minister Hun Sen takes a photograph with representatives of the garment industry yesterday on Phnom Penh's Diamond Island.
Prime Minister Hun Sen takes a photograph with representatives of the garment industry yesterday on Phnom Penh's Diamond Island. Facebook

Hun Sen continues to court factory workers

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday continued his campaign to court the nation’s garment workers, meeting with 4,400 workers’ representatives on Koh Pich and vowing to ensure they received promised benefits, such as a higher minimum wage and health insurance.

After the meeting, the premier took to Facebook to repeat his promise to take workers’ concerns seriously, and also offered another populist pledge to reduce utility costs. “The efforts of the prime minister under the ruling [Cambodian People’s Party] are to take good care of the people,” he said.

He also announced that water prices would decrease from September onwards, from between 1,000 to 1,500 riel per cubic metre to a maximum of 800 riels per cubic metre.

Following his announcement last week that employers will have to pay the entirety of workers’ health insurance starting from January 2018 – instead of 50 percent being paid by the employees, as is currently the case – Hun Sen on Saturday signed a sub-decree amending the rules for all workers registered with the National Social Security Fund.

Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks to representatives of the garment industry yesterday on Phnom Penh’s Koh Pich.
Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks to representatives of the garment industry yesterday on Phnom Penh’s Koh Pich. Facebook

Garment worker Pa Sineng said she was happy about the benefits, but noted that they came too late. “I remember that in 2013 and 2014, workers protested to get decent wages, but unfortunately [the protests] were cracked down, and [workers] were injured and some even died, but the minimum wage that the government provided was not the wage we asked for,” Sineng said.

The coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union President Ath Thorn echoed the concern and called attention to the fact that the moves come ahead of national elections. “We struggled for many years to get the minimum wages increased, and this year – close to the national election – the prime minister offers a lot of benefits,” he said.

CPP spokespersons Sok Eysan and Sous Yara could not be reached yesterday.

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

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • 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

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,

  • 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