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New factory culture slashes protests: PM

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
Industrial peace has followed outbreaks of protests and demonstrations. KT/Ven Rathavong

Garment factory demonstrations and strikes have  significantly dropped this year thanks to better working relationships between employers, workers and unions, Prime Minister Hun Sen said yesterday.

Mr Hun Sen was addressing thousands of garment workers, as he has done almost weekly in the past couple of months.

“I am so proud to see that problems are being solved smoothly,” he told about 20,000 garment workers in the Veng Sreng area, the epicentre of massive protests in 2014 calling for higher wages.

“Demonstrations and strikes have decreased extremely because of more understanding between employers, administrative managers, team leaders and workers.”

“You all have to work together, it’s an important part of your job,” he said. “We must harmonise and consider that the factories are part of the same cooking pot.”

“I want to tell you that the minimum wage will not only increase in 2018, but will increase every year,” he added.

The 2018 minimum wage was agreed upon earlier this month, bumping salaries up from $153 per month to $170 – an 11 percent hike.

The pay bump was the largest since the 2014 protests, after which wages rose by about 28 percent.

Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, agreed that demonstrations and strikes have dropped this year.

Labour Ministry officials and members of the Committee for the Settlement of Strikes and Demonstrations could not be reached for comment yesterday.

According to the committee, there were 220 strikes and demonstrations in 2016, a decrease of 116 compared with the 336 cases reported in 2015.

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