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Internal labour ministry meetings on 2023 minimum wage start in July, tripartite talks in August

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Employees leave a garment factory after work last year in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district. POST STAFF

Internal labour ministry meetings on 2023 minimum wage start in July, tripartite talks in August

The labour ministry has scheduled a series of internal meetings next month to discuss the 2023 minimum wage for the textile, garment, footwear, bags and travel goods sectors.

The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training said in a notice that bilateral and tripartite talks – between the government and representatives of employers and workers – would begin in August.

The notice said the National Council on Minimum Wage (NCMW) would convene a month later to finalise the minimum wage, which the ministry is to enact on January 1.

The NCMW comprises officials from the labour ministry, factory owner representatives, industry stakeholders and workers’ representatives from civil society organisations and trade unions.

Invoking Article 5 of the Law on Minimum Wage, the ministry called on all parties to base their internal deliberation process for a figure on formal data and reputable academic research on social criteria – such as household status, inflation rate and cost of living – and economic criteria, including productivity, competitiveness of the country, the labour market situation and sectoral profitability.

“All parties must follow the guidelines and measures of the Ministry of Health at all of its meetings and do their part to prevent an outbreak of Covid-19 in Cambodia,” the ministry said.

Last year, the NCMW had initially voted to keep the 2022 minimum wage for these sectors unchanged from $192 in 2021, until Prime Minister Hun Sen stepped in to add $2 to the total, making it $194 per month.

On September 28, the council took a vote on three competing minimum wages proposed for 2022. The workers’ representatives requested $204, the employers and industry representatives offered $188 and the compromise figure of $192.

The votes tallied up to 45 in favour of the $192 wage, six for the $204 figure and no votes cast at all for the employers’ proposal that the minimum pay be lowered to $188.

In an announcement issued after the vote, the ministry said Hun Sen was adding another $2 to the $192 figure, of which the council overwhelmingly voted in favour.

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