Cambodia’s garment workers march again for higher wages

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8FWW0Q5261Six Cambodian trade unions led around 1,000 garment workers to march through streets in Phnom Penh on October 12 to demand a higher minimum wage as annual talks on a wage hike are scheduled for next month.

Protest workers, from various factories on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, gathered at the Freedom Park with banners reading “We Need Decent Wage” and then marched through streets to deliver petitions to the US embassy, the European Union, and the National Assembly.

“The US and the European Union are the main buyers of Cambodian apparel products, so we want them to push the expedition of the negotiations on minimum wage increase and to urge the manufacturers to provide decent wage to workers,” Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, told reporters during the rally.

He said the unions are urging the government and the employers to set a minimum monthly wage of $150 for the garment and footwear sector from 2015.

However, the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) has said that the amount of the minimum wage the GMAC can afford to pay is $110 per month, up from the current wage of $100.

The garment and footwear sector, the country’s largest foreign currency earner, comprises 960 factories with approximately 620, 000 workers, according to the Ministry of Labour.

The sector exported products in equivalent to $3.99 billion in the first eight months of this year, up 11 per cent over the same period last year.
Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that a steep and sudden rise to the minimum wage could drive investors out of the country.

“I’d like to remind our people that setting minimum wage can also pose risks to Cambodia. For instance, increasing minimum wages in China and Thailand adversely affects manufacturers and reduce their competitiveness due to high production cost and as a result, investors consider relocating their factories to other countries,” he said during an international investment conference.

“Cambodia has to grab the opportunity by carefully setting the minimum wage to welcome investors who are relocating their factories,” he said.

 

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Six Cambodian trade unions led around 1,000 garment workers to march through streets in Phnom Penh on October 12 to demand a higher minimum wage as annual talks on a wage hike are scheduled for next month.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

8FWW0Q5261Six Cambodian trade unions led around 1,000 garment workers to march through streets in Phnom Penh on October 12 to demand a higher minimum wage as annual talks on a wage hike are scheduled for next month.

Protest workers, from various factories on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, gathered at the Freedom Park with banners reading “We Need Decent Wage” and then marched through streets to deliver petitions to the US embassy, the European Union, and the National Assembly.

“The US and the European Union are the main buyers of Cambodian apparel products, so we want them to push the expedition of the negotiations on minimum wage increase and to urge the manufacturers to provide decent wage to workers,” Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, told reporters during the rally.

He said the unions are urging the government and the employers to set a minimum monthly wage of $150 for the garment and footwear sector from 2015.

However, the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) has said that the amount of the minimum wage the GMAC can afford to pay is $110 per month, up from the current wage of $100.

The garment and footwear sector, the country’s largest foreign currency earner, comprises 960 factories with approximately 620, 000 workers, according to the Ministry of Labour.

The sector exported products in equivalent to $3.99 billion in the first eight months of this year, up 11 per cent over the same period last year.
Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that a steep and sudden rise to the minimum wage could drive investors out of the country.

“I’d like to remind our people that setting minimum wage can also pose risks to Cambodia. For instance, increasing minimum wages in China and Thailand adversely affects manufacturers and reduce their competitiveness due to high production cost and as a result, investors consider relocating their factories to other countries,” he said during an international investment conference.

“Cambodia has to grab the opportunity by carefully setting the minimum wage to welcome investors who are relocating their factories,” he said.

 

 

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