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2021 minimum wage negotiations extended

Huon Dina / Khmer Times Share:
The National Council for Minimum Wage meeting yesterday. KT/Tep Sony

The National Council for Minimum Wage held a meeting yesterday regarding the minimum wage in 2021, however, no final decision was made and so the negotiations will be continued on September 9 and 10.

The meeting was joined by union workers, employers, and government representatives.

Cambodian Labour Confederation president, Ath Thorn, said after the meeting that he thinks there is still hope for a higher minimum wage in 2021, as this was only the first meeting on the issue.

“Each party has expressed their concerns over the current working climate due to COVID-19,” he said.

Thorn has said concerns about the crisis are a common problem.

“Employers have made a profit for many years, and during that time, workers have only received a living wage,” he said. “And now if they can’t earn money due to the pandemic, their livelihood will be severely impacted.”

Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, said he saw consideration for the workers’ current situation from all sides.

However, he said the meeting focussed on union representatives reviewing some of the proposals, rather than minimum wage negotiations.

“Before the meeting on September 9 and 10, the unions will have internal meetings and we will consider the figure of $11.59 again,” he said.

Ken Loo, secretary-general of Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), said in yesterday’s meeting, the employers had not yet asked for anything. However, he declined to comment further until the final negotiations.

In the interview with reporters after the meeting, Minister of Labour, Ith Samheng said: “I hope we will have a mutually acceptable result for workers before the upcoming Pchum Ben festival.”

“I’m really optimistic to discuss the issues together,” he said. “We have seen that each side understands the overall situation.”

“We are willing to talk with a sense of responsibility and work together,” he said.

 

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