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Minister adds $5 to garment wage

LAC
Labour Advisory Committee president Nan Sothy (from left), Labour Minister Ith Sam Heng and government-affiliated union representative Choun Mom Thol celebrate Wednesday's minimum wage vote. Vireak Mai

Minister adds $5 to garment wage

Next year’s minimum monthly wage in Cambodia’s garment industry will likely be $128, after Minister of Labour Ith Sam Heng over-road the Ministry of Labour’s Labour Advisory Committee (LAC)

Sam Heng met with Prime Minister Hun Sen after the LAC voted in favour of a $123 monthly minimum wage. An additional $5 was added “according to the high recommendation from the Prime Minister,” a Labour Ministry statement says.

This morning, sixteen committee members voted for the government-sponsored $123 figure, while seven voted for the employer-backed $110 and two voted for the union-suggested $140, Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour said this morning.

The committee contains 14 representatives from government, seven representing factories and seven from the union side.

“[LAC members] did not come to a consensus, so they voted,” Sour told the Post. “We just completed the vote and the majority of the LAC unions voted for $123 for the new minimum wage for 2015.”

Government officials previously endorsed $121 for next year’s minimum, but raised that figure by $2 this morning, Sour said.

A Labour Ministry statement said their decision will now go before Labour Minister Ith Sam Heng for approval and, if approved, will be implemented on January 1.

Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union president Ath Thorn, one of two who voted for $140, said the wage is less than unions will accept.

“We are not satisfied,” Thorn said this morning, before hearing of the additional $5.

Eight independent labour unions that supported last year’s nationwide garment worker strike will meet this afternoon to discuss their next course of action.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CHEANG SOKHA

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