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Minister agrees to final talk on draft minimum wage law

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
Sarah Morgan met with Labour Minister Ith Samheng on Friday. Koh Santepheap

The government has accepted a request from a senior officer of the US State Department to hold another discussion on the draft minimum wage law before it is approved.

After meeting with Sarah Morgan, an official with the US Office of International Labour Affairs, Labour Minister Ith Samheng said Ms Morgan wanted to have a final discussion on the draft law with all involved parties.

“For the draft law on minimum wage, our partner wanted to hold a workshop again for a final discussion with all stakeholders before it is approved,” he said.

Mr Samheng said he accepted the request, but had not scheduled the date of the workshop.

“We hope that our cooperation will keep going smoothly, especially in the labour sector, and also the market relationship between Cambodia and the US,” he added.

The Labour Ministry held its last public workshop in late January to discuss the draft minimum wage law after two previous workshops, which were attended by a tripartite group consisting of employers, unions and the government.

Mr Samheng said at the time that he would send the draft law to relevant ministries before forwarding it to the National Assembly for approval.

“I hope we can have this law approved before the end of June,” said Mr Samheng. “We do not want it to take any longer because everyone is waiting for it.”

The draft law, which has 33 articles across six chapters, would be beneficial to workers and the nation as a whole because it intended to promote a decent living, create job opportunities and increase worker productivity, as well as push for increased investment opportunities.

Yang Sophorn, president of the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions, said yesterday that she also wanted to have another workshop to discuss the draft law on minimum wage.

“We have not seen the draft law since we asked to correct some points at the last public workshop in late January. So we don’t know if the ministry will do as we suggested or not,” she said.

Ms Sophorn said she really wanted to see the final draft of the minimum wage law before it was sent to relevant institutes for approval.

From 1997 to 2017, the government increased the minimum wage in the garment sector from $30 per month to $153. Wages increased to $170 in January.

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