Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry looking to lower workers’ night shift wages



Ministry looking to lower workers’ night shift wages

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
In 2007, night shift workers’ wages were reduced from 150 per cent to 130 per cent of the day rate. Heng Chivoan

Ministry looking to lower workers’ night shift wages

The Ministry of Labour is looking to reduce night shift workers’ wages to bring them in line with day rates. This, it said, will increase Cambodia’s competitiveness. However, unions and workers have slammed the move.

Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng sent a letter on Thursday to relevant parties saying the ministry was preparing to amend the Labour Law with regards to night shift wages.

It also intends to end the compensatory days off and expand the scope of the Arbitration Council to resolve individual disputes.

Currently, the day following all public holidays that fall on a Sunday is an off day.

In the letter, the ministry said the amendment to the Labour Law was aimed at strengthening the Kingdom’s economic competitiveness.

“To make this amendment comprehensive and acceptable to all relevant parties, the ministry will organise a consultation workshop on amendments to the Labour Law in cooperation with the International Labour Organisation on January 16,” the letter said.

Pav Sina, the president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, said on Monday that the moves – with night shift wages being 130 per cent of day work – would remove workers’ benefits and showed a lack of intent in resolving their challenges.

“I think the Ministry of Labour should be concerned with the interests of workers so that what is known as transparency between employers and workers is improved.

“But instead, [the ministry] thinks only of factory owners, while our workers still face many challenges, including transportation to the workplace and health and safety,” Sina said.

He said plans to reduce night shift wages and remove compensatory days off had resulted from the requests of employers.

He said while he would attend the consultation, he was not optimistic that the ministry would consider his concerns.

Ath Thorn, the president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (CCAWDU), said on Monday that while the Labour Law was passed in 1997 to protect workers’ interests, later amendments had resulted in a loss of benefits.

He said in 2007, night shift workers’ wages were reduced from 150 per cent to 130 per cent of the day rate, with the ministry citing the need to attract more investors to Cambodia.

“In 2007, employers made a request to the ministry saying that if night shift wages were reduced, they would invest within 24 hours, creating jobs and increasing economic growth. But more than 10 years later, the situation is worse than before,” Thorn said.

Ministry of Labour spokesman Heng Sour declined to comment, while government spokesman Phay Siphan referred questions to Sour.

Som Aun, the president of the National Union Alliance Chamber of Cambodia (NACC), said that while he did not know the reasons for amending the Labour Law, he said he would give an interview after attending the ministry’s workshop on Thursday.

Watch video:

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia's cluster cases jump to 259

    The Ministry of Health on February 27 recorded 26 more cases of Covid-19 linked to the February 20 community transmission, bringing the total to 259 in one week. The 26 include three Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. The ministry noted that five of the Chinese