New minimum wage for Cambodian textile workers: $182

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Cambodia raised the monthly minimum wage for garment workers by $12 on October 5 to $182, fulfilling an election promise by premier Hun Sen.

A commission of union, government and employers tasked with determining the minimum wage for workers in the textile, garment and footwear industries said the raise will come in effect from January 2019.

However, union representatives still said that the wage increase was “not enough” to address rising inflation and living expenses.

“It does not satisfy us yet. We were demanding an increase of at least $15 a month,” Ath Thorn of the Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers Democratic Union said.

But employers also tried to balance the higher wage costs.

The president of the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia, Van Sou Ieng, said that the minimum wage was “a bit high” in relation to Vietnam. There, the minimum wage is now $184, but costs for transportation and electricity lower, while productivity is higher.

Cambodia’s $7-billion apparel industry employs more than 740,000 garment workers, who strongman Hun Sen attempted to woo before July’s widely-criticised elections.

Huns Sen came under fire last month in the European Parliament for his authoritarian chokehold on opponents and dissent. The bloc warned that a “procedure of withdrawal” would begin for Cambodia to leave the “Everything But Arms” trade scheme, which allows tariff-free exports to the EU bloc. For Cambodia’s garetn industry, this would be a heavy blow.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Cambodia raised the monthly minimum wage for garment workers by $12 on October 5 to $182, fulfilling an election promise by premier Hun Sen.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Cambodia raised the monthly minimum wage for garment workers by $12 on October 5 to $182, fulfilling an election promise by premier Hun Sen.

A commission of union, government and employers tasked with determining the minimum wage for workers in the textile, garment and footwear industries said the raise will come in effect from January 2019.

However, union representatives still said that the wage increase was “not enough” to address rising inflation and living expenses.

“It does not satisfy us yet. We were demanding an increase of at least $15 a month,” Ath Thorn of the Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers Democratic Union said.

But employers also tried to balance the higher wage costs.

The president of the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia, Van Sou Ieng, said that the minimum wage was “a bit high” in relation to Vietnam. There, the minimum wage is now $184, but costs for transportation and electricity lower, while productivity is higher.

Cambodia’s $7-billion apparel industry employs more than 740,000 garment workers, who strongman Hun Sen attempted to woo before July’s widely-criticised elections.

Huns Sen came under fire last month in the European Parliament for his authoritarian chokehold on opponents and dissent. The bloc warned that a “procedure of withdrawal” would begin for Cambodia to leave the “Everything But Arms” trade scheme, which allows tariff-free exports to the EU bloc. For Cambodia’s garetn industry, this would be a heavy blow.

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