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Unions propose $12.35 minimum wage increase

Houn Dina / Khmer Times Share:
Internal meeting of the National Minimum Wage Council for the garment and footwear sector in Cambodia. Facebook

Unions’ workers will propose a new minimum wage for 2021 of $203.35 per month in the next National Council on Minimum Wage’s (NCMW) meeting.

The new figure is $12.35 (6.5 percent) more than the current minimum wage of $190 per month.  This is an increase from $11.59 – the previous figure which was agreed in the first unions’ meeting in late August.

The new figure follows the second internal unions’ meeting yesterday which was attended by 17 representatives of the Workers’ Wage Committee, independent unions, and government unions. The meeting was following the first meeting of the NCMW which produced no final decisions on September 3.

Cambodian Labour Confederation’s president Ath Thorn said the unions had an in-depth discussion before agreeing on the new figure.

“The new figure is low compared to last year’s figure which was a $25 increase,” he said.

The late August’s figure of the union was $11.59 increase which took inflation, productivity, and profitability into account.

“The new figure was decided based on the extraction of various figures from the state, such as inflation, productivity, and employers’ profitability,” Thorn said. “The figure was increased due to inflation.”

“Previously, inflation was at only two percent. However, the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s report for next year shows an increase in inflation to 3.1 percent. As this rises, so does the proposed minimum wage,” he added.

After the NCMW’s meeting last week, secretary-general of Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) Ken Loo, told Khmer Times he would not comment until the negotiations were finalised, because the procedure was still in progress. GMAC representatives could again not be reached for comment yesterday.

The NCMW will hold another meeting on September 9 and 10 regarding the minimum wage in 2021.

Minister of Labour, Ith Samheng said last week: “I hope we will have a mutually acceptable result for workers before the upcoming Pchum Ben festival.”


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