Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Unions to request 11.6% raise to minimum wage

Unions to request 11.6% raise to minimum wage

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Garment workers have breakfast before starting work at their factory in Kakab II commune of Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district on July 14. Heng Chivoan

Unions to request 11.6% raise to minimum wage

Seventeen union representatives from the Wage Negotiation Working Group have agreed to negotiate for a $22.20 increase in salaries for textile, garment and footwear workers for 2022.

The decision was made after the representatives, who represent trade unions nationwide, convened an internal consultation meeting both in-person and online on September 6 to jointly determine an amount for negotiations with employers.

Collective Union of Movement of Workers president Pav Sina, who attended the meeting, told The Post on September 6 that after discussions, unions agreed to jointly request an 11.6 per cent increase, or $22.20, in workers’ wages for 2022.

Sina added the proposed increase would amount to about $214.20 per month for workers’ wages in 2022.

However, Sina claimed that this figure was only a proposed figure by the union, with the actual decision depending on further tripartite negotiations.

“We will use this figure for negotiations or perhaps bargaining. This is not a set figure, it comes under our study of seven criteria,” he said.

According to Sina, the first tripartite meeting will be held on September 7, which will be attended by representatives from the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, union representatives and employers. He expects negotiations to raise workers’ wages would achieve a better outcome than last year.

“We see now that workers’ benefits are being lost. So if a wage increase is small and they keep losing benefits, it means that workers suffer again. I think our proposal is a response to workers’ losses in the past which may continue in the future,” he said.

This year, the government increased the minimum wage for textile, garment and footwear workers from $190 to $192 per month.

The government said the $2 increase was given because this sector was suffering from a severe crisis caused by Covid-19.

Labour ministry spokesman Heng Sour told The Post on September 6 that the ministry did not take a stand either way regarding the determination of wages prior to the meeting.

Sour added that when negotiating an increase in the minimum wage for workers in the textile, garment and footwear sector, the ministry has the role of coordinating and providing figures and answers to questions from each party.

“Wage negotiations require technical, statistical and economic knowledge and an understanding of the purpose of job retention and job creation,” he said.

Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia deputy secretary-general Kaing Monika said it was an annual wage review meeting.

He said the review did not necessarily mean an increase in wages. The review can be upward or downward depending on the socio-economic situation under which there are seven criteria to be seriously considered.

“A demand for an increase of more than 11 per cent during this global crisis is absolutely not appropriate. It’s economically wrong and definitely scares off existing investors and potential investors,” he said.

He also mentioned that there were other high costs which employers had to absorb to operate during this critical time. Therefore, he hoped the union would be more reasonable in their final demands.

The National Council on Minimum Wage (NCMW) sets July every year for a consultation meeting on the minimum wage internally for each party, and August for bilateral and tripartite consultation meetings.

In September, the NCMW will conduct a consultation meeting to decide on workers’ wages in the textile, garment and footwear industries for next year.

MOST VIEWED

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement

  • Walmart plans to diversify stock of Cambodia goods

    Walmart Inc, the world’s biggest retailer, on June 22 reiterated recent plans to scale up and greatly diversify its purchases of Cambodian products, according to the labour ministry. This came during a virtual working meeting between Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Samheng and

  • Cambodia detects new Covid cases after 52 days: PM

    After 52 days of zero new Covid-19 cases, Cambodia has now detected new infections, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen. In his special audio address to the nation late on June 28, Hun Sen said the new cases were detected on people who had undergone PCR tests

  • Cotton club growing in Battambang

    The global market for “vegan leather” – materials that act as alternatives to traditional leather that can be synthesised from cork, apple peels, cactus, recycled plastic, grape pomace and pineapple leaves, among other things, and supposedly require no chemicals or water to produce – is expected to