Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Unions to march over wage delay

Unions to march over wage delay

Workers march through the streets of Phnom Penh in August
Workers march through the streets of Phnom Penh in August, calling for better working conditions and a higher minimum wage. Pha Lina

Unions to march over wage delay

Six garment unions will hold a march beginning in Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park on Sunday to demand a higher industrial minimum wage, after the Ministry of Labour delayed a meeting about an increase, according to a letter obtained by the Post yesterday.

In the letter, sent to City Hall on Monday, presidents of the six unions said 3,000 people would gather at Freedom Park and then march to US and European embassies, followed by the offices of clothing brands.

“The negotiation on the 2015 minimum wage for garment workers has been delayed without setting a specific date,” the letter reads. “We hope the governor will allow us to use Freedom Park.”

City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche said yesterday that no decision has been made on whether the event will be allowed.

The Ministry of Labour’s Labour Advisory Committee (LAC) had originally planned to set next year’s industrial monthly minimum wage – which is currently $100 – on Friday. On Monday, the ministry delayed this meeting until next month.

Minister of Labour Ith Sam Heng also said ministry officials would meet with unions other than the seven on the LAC during this time.

None of the presidents of the six unions that signed on to the letter are on the LAC.

“We know the employers have offered $110,” said Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, and signatory to the letter. “But we need to negotiate for a better wage.”

Ath Thorn, president of Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union and a LAC member, said yesterday that he was not sure if his union would participate, but supports any effort to raise floor salaries.

Dave Welsh, country director of labour rights group Solidarity Center, said he didn’t think a postponement of the wage decision is a negative action in this case, but that he believes the government should not retaliate against unions for carrying out the rally in negotiations.

“There’s no reason for the government to react to that in a punitive way,” Welsh said.

Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour could not be reached yesterday.

MOST VIEWED

  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by

  • Chinese influence to sweep Kingdom?

    Growing Cambodia-China ties have seen the latter’s influence sweep across the Kingdom through increased investments and tourism. The Asian giant has become the leading source of foreign funds in Cambodia, fuelling the construction sector with huge casino and hotel projects. Much of the growth

  • Final poll results confirm first single-party Assembly

    IN an unprecedented situation in Cambodian politics, the official results of the July 29 national elections have declared that the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will take all 125 seats in the National Assembly on the back of it receiving 76 per cent of the votes. The National