Talks narrow gap in minimum wage

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Garment workers can expect a pay rise but don’t yet know how big it will be. KT/Mai Vireak

Union negotiators on the minimum wage for garment, textile and footwear workers have lowered their claim from $176.26 per month to $175 while the employers have increased their offer from $161 to $161.50.

The tripartite working group of the government’s Labour Advisory Committee continued negotiations on Friday at the Labour Ministry but has not yet agreed on a figure.

Ministry spokesman Heng Sour said that after about three hours of negotiation, the working group got a slightly better result after the employers increased their figure.

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He said the changes in the claim and the offer were small but showed that negotiation, explanations and concessions were negotiating mechanisms the working group had used for four years and was continuing.

The government stuck to its suggestion of $162.67 at the meeting, said Far Saly, president of the National Trade Unions Coalition, however the figure from the employers’ side was still too low for the union side to accept.

“If the employers increase their figure to the one the government suggested it would be better, however the number is not what we want,” Mr Saly said.

“I hope that both the government and employers consider carefully the increase in the minimum wage for workers so that their living standards improve.”

Prime Minister Hun Sen said yesterday at a meeting with more than 4,000 representatives of workers and employees from 74 factories in Phnom Penh that he was not aware of how much the minimum wage for garment workers for next year would be but it would not be less than $160.

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