Garment workers voiced their concern to authorities on Monday over an upcoming rent increase in Phnom Penh and Kandal province.
Van Yin, a garment worker in Phnom Penh, said the owner of the house she rents informed him she will have to pay an extra $10 per month, while the worker’s wage will increase by only $17.
“What’s the point of increasing wages if rents immediately rise as well?” Ms Yin complained.
Worker Thea Ry, living in Kandal province, said her rent would also increase in 2018.
“My rental room is $35 per month. I share it with a friend. Now they tell us it will rise to $45 per month. If you add in the bills, water, electricity, it’s too much,” she said.
Soy Kosal, a deputy chief in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district, asked workers to report owners increasing their rates to the authorities.
“Authorities can meet with the owner and suggest they do not increase their prices, as they have no legitimate reason to do it,” he said.
Prak Chanton, a representative of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Worker’s Democratic Union, said owners are instigating the price hike themselves to follow the increase in worker’s wages.
“All the prices for goods on the market increase on a day to day basis, and so does rent prices. It is very difficult for garment workers,” Mr Chanton said.
In 2017, the minimum wage for garment workers was $153 per month, and it is set to increase to $170 in 2018.