The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia yesterday said an increase of minimum wage for workers in 2020 will be impossible to achieve as the industry faces numerous challenges.
Kaing Monika, GMAC deputy secretary-general, yesterday spoke to reporters at the conclusion of a meeting of the National Committee of Minimum Wage at the Labour Ministry. He said the garment industry’s exports have been declining due to buyers reducing their orders.
“I cannot say I am speaking to represent the NCMW, but I am speaking as a representative of the employers in the garment and footwear [sector],” he said. “Based on the current conditions in the sector, it will be hard to increase [the minimum wage for 2020].”
“It should remain the same, because also, in comparison to our competitors, our wages are already higher,” he added.
Mr Monika noted that the minimum wage in Cambodia is already slightly higher than in Vietnam, saying that the wage in Vietnam is $180 per month while in Cambodia it is $182 per month.
“The best way is to keep the minimum wage figure unchanged,” he said.
Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, yesterday said that this is not the first time that the representative of employers is against increasing the minimum wage.
“We do not know by how much the minimum wage for 2020 will increase, since all parties are still negotiating,” Mr Sina said, adding that he is currently mulling a 15-percent increase, or $27.
Heng Sour, spokesman for the Labour Ministry who led the meeting yesterday, told reporters after the meeting that workers need a higher wage, adding that the government will continue to facilitate negotiations for all parties to reach an agreement.
“We discussed and exchanged ideas related to the information and statistics from the presentations of our guests,” Mr Sour said. “The unions, which are representing the workers, and GMAC, which is representing the employers, have requested an internal meeting to be held from now until Friday morning.”
Mr Sour said that neither party has proposed a final figure as yet.
“Both parties, the unions and GMAC, have had a positive response to each other in the meeting today by focusing on the figures and the impact of each criteria,” Mr Sour said.