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Proposed minimum wage figures adjusted

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Heng Sour leads a meeting over the minimum wage. KT/Mai Vireak

During yesterday’s meeting on the minimum wage, employers, unions and the government adjusted their proposed figures to $176, $189 and $177, respectively.

Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour said yesterday that employers agreed to increase their minimum wage proposal from $175 to $176, while unions agreed to further decrease their proposed figure from $192 to $189.

The current minimum wage for garment, textile and footwear workers is set at $170.

Initially, unions proposed $211 be the new minimum wage for 2019, a figure decreased to $192 during a meeting last week.

“This meeting has yielded better results than previous meetings because all sides involved are closing the gap to achieve the final minimum wage figure,” Mr Sour said, noting that the government will continue to reduce the cost of spending for workers and provide social nettings.

“During the meeting, we also explained to all sides that we need to come to an agreement on the final figure by October 5,” Mr Sour said.

The Cambodian Labour Confederation, who supported decreasing their initial figure to $189, said yesterday that the government and employers must work to decrease prices of utilities and extend public services to workers.

“We requested that the government improve healthcare, drop all complaints filed against union representatives, adjust trade union laws and provide allowances and transportation for workers,” the CLC said.

Kaing Monika, GMAC deputy secretary-general, said yesterday that employers agreed upon a raise to $176.
“If the government can help to facilitate some of our spending, such as the price of electricity, and Camcontrol can reduce employer spending, then I think employers will consider increasing wages,” Mr Monika said.

Mr Monika’s statement echoes that of Prime Minister Hun Sen who earlier this month said that an unreasonable increase in the minimum wage could drive companies to bankruptcy.

“Employers won’t stay if the price of labour is expensive,” Mr Hun Sen said. “There’s no way companies could endure if minimum wage continues to increase.”

From 1997 to 2018, the government has steadily increased the minimum wage from $30 to $170.

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