Protesting workers of VGreen Co Ltd in Siem Reap province’s Angkor Archaeological Park yesterday agreed to return to work after the company agreed to raise their basic salary by $15.
On Wednesday, VGreen’s workers who clean the park gathered and posted a video clip of their protest on Facebook in which they demanded that their wages be raised to $170, and also 12 other conditions, including granting them annual leave in accordance with the labour law and stop discriminating against their union.
Kea Tout, a representative of the workers, yesterday said that after they posted the video clip, the company and officials from relevant authorities invited them to negotiate.
“The company promised to raise our 2018 salary by $15 each so in 2019, we will get a minimum wage of $95,” he said. “In 2020, they will raise it by $25 so it will become $120.”
“The company also promised to raise our wages annually by $20 and our workers have agreed to its terms,” Mr Tout added.
He said that the minimum wage for workers in 2018 was between $80 and $110 depending on the number of years they have worked for the company.
Den Ngort, another worker, yesterday said that some of them have worked as cleaners for many years at a previous company HCC before it was replaced by VGreen.
He said their salaries however remained low, making it difficult to survive because the prices of goods in the market have steadily increased.
“I have been working for more than 10 years already and my salary is only $110 per month,” he said. “This makes my life difficult as the price of rice, petrol and everything else has increased.”
Heang Narin, VGreen’s representative, couldn’t be reached for comment yesterday.
Heng Sour, Labour Ministry spokesman, said yesterday that the ministry had coordinated negotiations to resolve the issue.
“In the case of the VGreen company, the ministry asked them to negotiate following a request from the workers,” he said.
Morm Rithy, president of the Cambodian Tourism and Services Federation, said that the minimum wage of $80 could not help workers in the tourism province to improve their living conditions.
He urged the government, relevant ministries and institutions to pay more attention to these workers.
“The country’s leaders should pay attention to this issue, because giving them this amount of salary is not appropriate,” he said. “I think there should be a suitable salary for them because of the cost of living in Siem Reap province.”
According to the workers, VGreen currently has 551 workers who clean the temples in the Angkor area, of whom 80 percent are women.