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


  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors

  • Vietnam told to remove border tents

    Kandal provincial governor Kong Sophoan has ordered local authorities to prohibit the construction of buildings in areas bordering Cambodia and to report any irregularities immediately. Recently, Vietnamese officials removed another seven tents from the border area with Cambodia. His remarks were made on Wednesday afternoon