Cambodia holds talks on minimum wage
The tripartite discussions were set to begin on September 14, with employers expected to propose reducing the current minimum wage of US$192.00 per month to US$183.40, while unions are requesting for it to be increased to US$214.20.
Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training spokesman Heng Sour said each side has so far maintained its position and both have brought scientific research and economic data to the table to support their stance.
Garment Manufacturing Association in Cambodia (GMAC) secretary-general Kaing Monika said the current COVID-19 crisis is the most important factor for all parties to take into account and should especially serve to temper the unions’ expectations. He said many countries have delayed discussions on their wages due to the pandemic. For example, Vietnam suspended wage discussions last year and this year delayed them again until 2022.
Cambodian Labour Confederation president Ath Thon said workers would maintain their demands for an increase of US$22.20 or 11.6% to the current minimum wage.
Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW), said if the minimum wage does not increase at all or only by a small amount, workers and their families will suffer hardships and struggle to pay their daily expenses in addition to paying off their debts and dealing with interruptions to their employment due to the pandemic.
READ: Cambodian unions call for 11.6% increase in minimum wage
The National Council on Minimum Wage (NCMW) has scheduled September 21 and 28 for further discussions with the goal of having both sides agree to a final figure, according to The Phnom Penh Post.