EU pressure results in minimum wage hike for Cambodia garment workers

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Cambodian labour ministry on September 20 announced a raise in next year’s legal minimum wage for workers in its crucial textiles and footwear industry to $190 per month, an increase of 4.4 per cent amid pressure from the European Union (EU) over the country’s human rights and political record, Reuters reported.

The garment industry is Cambodia’s largest employer, producing clothes and shoes for well-known European brands including H&M, Puma and ZARA and generating $7 billion for the economy each year and. It faces uncertainty after the EU in February began a process that could suspend the country’s special trade preferences.

Cambodia benefits from the EU’s “Everything But Arms” trade programme, which allows the world’s least-developed countries to export most goods to the EU free of duties.

Pav Sina, president of Cambodia’s Collective Union Movement of Workers, said unions would accept the new hike, although it fell short of their $195 demand, after a representative vote.

“Even though this figure is not what we wanted as our position, it is positive, as Cambodia is in the midst of uncertainties of the trade preferences,” Sina said, adding that “if our wage goes higher than countries in the region, we will also suffer.”

Ken Loo, Secretary-General at the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia, said employers accepted the new minimum wage but were concerned about rising pay.

The EU, which receives more than one-third of Cambodia’s exports, including garments, footwear and bicycles, in February began an 18-month consideration that could lead to the suspension of trade preferences.

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Cambodian labour ministry on September 20 announced a raise in next year's legal minimum wage for workers in its crucial textiles and footwear industry to $190 per month, an increase of 4.4 per cent amid pressure from the European Union (EU) over the country's human rights and political record, Reuters reported. The garment industry is Cambodia's largest employer, producing clothes and shoes for well-known European brands including H&M, Puma and ZARA and generating $7 billion for the economy each year and. It faces uncertainty after the EU in February began a process that could suspend the country's special trade preferences....

Reading Time: 1 minute

Auto Draft

Cambodian labour ministry on September 20 announced a raise in next year’s legal minimum wage for workers in its crucial textiles and footwear industry to $190 per month, an increase of 4.4 per cent amid pressure from the European Union (EU) over the country’s human rights and political record, Reuters reported.

The garment industry is Cambodia’s largest employer, producing clothes and shoes for well-known European brands including H&M, Puma and ZARA and generating $7 billion for the economy each year and. It faces uncertainty after the EU in February began a process that could suspend the country’s special trade preferences.

Cambodia benefits from the EU’s “Everything But Arms” trade programme, which allows the world’s least-developed countries to export most goods to the EU free of duties.

Pav Sina, president of Cambodia’s Collective Union Movement of Workers, said unions would accept the new hike, although it fell short of their $195 demand, after a representative vote.

“Even though this figure is not what we wanted as our position, it is positive, as Cambodia is in the midst of uncertainties of the trade preferences,” Sina said, adding that “if our wage goes higher than countries in the region, we will also suffer.”

Ken Loo, Secretary-General at the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia, said employers accepted the new minimum wage but were concerned about rising pay.

The EU, which receives more than one-third of Cambodia’s exports, including garments, footwear and bicycles, in February began an 18-month consideration that could lead to the suspension of trade preferences.

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