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Government proposes $177 minimum wage

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
Garment workers. KT/Ven Rathavong

The Labour Ministry yesterday proposed that garment workers receive $177.57 per month as their minimum wage for 2019 during a meeting with employers and unions.

A Labour Ministry statement said the proposal was made ahead of an agreed figure being revealed on Friday.

Far Saly, president of the National Trade Union Coalition, said yesterday that unions proposed that the minimum wage be increased from about $170 to $211.94 for garment workers.

Mr Saly noted that unions are willing to compromise and approve a rate of $192.67 instead.

“We will discuss the matter in order to agree upon a new figure,” he said.

He noted that garment, textile and footwear factory workers in 2019 should receive between $185 and $190 per month.

The minimum wage for workers rose to $170 this year, about a 10 percent increase from 2017’s $153.

Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour said on Monday that meetings between unions, employers and the ministry will wrap up on Friday.

Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) said that there are the same formula and principle to be used in the wage calculation, however there are some different view on some points, particularly in economic criteria. They [government] mainly based on easy obvious points like inflation and productivity growth rate.

“For us, the critical factor is competitiveness, which takes into account many points including how much main competitors pay their employees, how many days workers work per year, social security, infrastructure, logistical and energy costs, and the availability of supplies and materials,” Mr Monika said.

When asked if he would agree with the newly-proposed rate by the government, he said that workers will just have to wait until the end of the negotiation period.
“We will show our proposed figures on Friday at the next tri-partite technical working group meeting,” he said.

In a statement, the Labour Ministry said last week that unions and employers should consider criteria during the negotiation period that is expected to end this week.

The criteria include family, inflation, cost of living, productivity, competitiveness, market conditions and profitability.

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