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Labour union turns to new online database

Labour union turns to new online database

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President of the Cambodian Labour Confederation, Ath Thorn (2nd L) and workers release birds in front of the Royal Palace during international workers day in Phnom Penh May 1, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Tang Chhin Sothy

President of the Cambodian Labour Confederation, Ath Thorn (2nd L) and workers release birds in front of the Royal Palace during international workers day in Phnom Penh May 1, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Tang Chhin Sothy

The Cambodian Labour Confederation will use a new online database to aggregate collective bargaining agreements and compare average wages between unions by 2013.

Prake.org, funded by both WageIndicator and The National Federation of Christian Trade Unions in the Netherlands (CNV), launched early this year.

The online database offers data sets on minimum earnings across various sectors in Cambodia. It also provides information on Cambodian labour law.

“We aim to keep Prake.org an objective website that presents updated, regular information on wages,” said Dannet Liv, the coordinator of Prake.org and Research Manager at Cambodia Institute of Development Study.

“The CLC is an important content provider, and the next stage for us is to have a database that collects and shares the contracts that the CLC provides us with,” Liv added.

Liv said that with a data set on collective bargaining agreements, policy makers will be able to see which unions are netting higher wages for their members.

“This is a good project for the labour movement in Cambodia,” said Ath Torn, president of the CLC and Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union.

“Normally, unions in Cambodia complain to increase their salary, but don’t have data to show [policy makers],” he said. “Now, we will be able to help officials by showing them data.”

The CLC has been cooperating with CNV since 2004, Ath Thorn said.

The first phase of data acquisition for the Prake.org database was a month-long offline survey. Liv and her team visited 1,500 households in five different provinces to collect information on wages, education and working conditions in 2010.

Now, in its second phase of data acquisition, Prake.org is collecting information through an online salary survey.

“The independent information on Prake.org is there to assist all trade unions and small employers in Cambodia,” said Paulien Osse, founder and Director of WageIndicator.

“We are in favour of information. We are not there to say that a wage is high or low,” Osse said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Justin Heifetz at [email protected]

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