Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Wage-setting meet up in air

Wage-setting meet up in air

A garment factory worker holds a placard during a protest that saw Russian Boulevard blockaded by razor wire and riot police in Phnom Penh in December.
A garment factory worker holds a placard during a protest that saw Russian Boulevard blockaded by razor wire and riot police in Phnom Penh in December. Vireak Mai

Wage-setting meet up in air

Exactly who will participate in a workshop to set the minimum wage in the garment sector with the Ministry of Labour this week remained unclear yesterday, with some key figures saying they had not yet been invited.

During the workshop, to be held on Thursday and Friday, the ministry, with technical assistance from the International Labour Organization, will begin discussions with union, NGO and industry leaders about setting a mechanism to calculate a fair minimum wage for garment industry workers, a Ministry of Labour letter, signed by secretary of state Oum Mean, says.

“I cannot say what I expect of the workshop, since the minimum-wage-setting process will not finish until the end of this year,” said Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, after being invited to the event.

“I think the workshop is just the first step.”

As of yesterday, Ath Thorn, president of Cambodia’s largest independent garment union, the Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), had not received an invitation.

“I expect to be invited, but until now I did not receive an invitation,” Thorn said.

Dave Welsh, country manager for labour rights group Solidarity Center, also remained unsure whether the meeting would go forward, having not received an invitation or heard about the event in weeks.

Noting that the court suddenly pushed the trial of 23 people arrested during January strike demonstrations from last Friday to April 25, Welsh said he believed it possible this event could also be delayed.

He added that he hoped 2014 wages – which garment workers continued to protest after the Labour Ministry announced a hike in the monthly wage to $100, rather than the $160 demanded – would be on the agenda.

“This can’t sort of be in a two-step pattern,” Welsh said. “There’s no reason to wait till January for everything to kick in.”

A spokesman from the Labour Ministry, which plans to set both the new wage-calculating mechanism and next year’s minimum wage by January, could not be reached.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ethnic group ‘disappointed’ to be denied French visas to attend court

    Eleven people at the centre of a case involving seven indigenous Bunong villages in Mondulkiri province pursuing legal action in France have expressed disappointment after the French embassy in Phnom Penh denied their visa applications to attend court. A press release said the 11 included a

  • Cambodia nabs 12th place in best retirement destinations

    Cambodia is an expatriate hotspot for those dreaming of living a more luxurious lifestyle at an affordable cost, according to International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2019. For the fourth year in a row, Cambodia took the top spot in the Cost of Living category.

  • EU starts EBA withdrawal

    The EU on Monday announced that it has begun the 18-month process of withdrawing the Kingdom’s access to its preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement over “a deterioration of democracy [and] respect for human rights”. However, the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) said

  • PM: War result of foreign meddling

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Sunday that Cambodia’s recent history of conflict was caused by foreign interference. “The wars that happened were caused by provocation, incitement, support, smearing and interference from foreign powers, and the group of ignorant people who pushed Cambodia to