Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Unions’ wage demand inches down on Day 2 of meet

Unions’ wage demand inches down on Day 2 of meet

People attend a tripartite meeting at the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training in Phnom Penh earlier this week to discuss the garment industry’s minimum wage. Photo supplied
People attend a tripartite meeting at the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training in Phnom Penh earlier this week to discuss the garment industry’s minimum wage. Photo supplied

Unions’ wage demand inches down on Day 2 of meet

Trade unions yesterday agreed to lower their $179.60 demand for next year’s garment sector minimum wage by $2, attributing the small concession to a similarly modest increase proposed by employer representatives to their own $144 counter-proposal on Wednesday.

Meeting at the Labour Ministry on the second day of bilateral negotiations yesterday, unions said they were reciprocating the increase to $146.37 offered by employer representatives on Wednesday by bringing down their wage demand to $177.59.

“It’s part of the negotiation procedure, but [wages] will increase more. Unions have a strategy to push for more,” said Ath Thorn, who heads the Cambodian Labour Confederation.

Fellow unionist Far Sally said unions were unwilling to go below the new number, given that their research showed that workers needed at least $171 to make a living. But, he said, “We are not trying to raise the salary too high, because then investors will turn from Cambodia to Myanmar.”

Both Sally and Thorn said protests would be the last resort and that workers would be the final arbiters of whether a wage was satisfactory or not.

The two groups will meet with the Labour Ministry on September 26 for tripartite talks, with Ken Loo, spokesman for manufacturers body GMAC, saying he was hopeful the ministry would be able to arbitrate an acceptable wage despite the $31 difference in their proposals.

Additional reporting by Ananth Baliga

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said