Over a thousand garment workers took to the streets in Phnom Penh on Sunday to demand better pay following a delay in announcing a new minimum wage.
The Labour Advisory Committee (LAC), composed of government, factory and union representatives, was due to reveal the new wage for 2015 on 10 October. Instead, wage negotiations have been postponed to an undecided date in November.
In frustration, garment workers from a coalition of six different unions, including IndustriALL Global Union affiliate, NIFTUC, donned bright pink t-shirts emblazoned with the slogan ‘We want a decent wage’ in a huge rally on 12 October.
It is the largest garment sector demonstration in the Cambodian capital since wage protestors were shot dead by police in January this year.
Unions accuse the LAC of delaying proceedings in an attempt to wear down their demands for a significant increase in the minimum wage, which currently stands at US$ 100 a month.
There are set to be a series of demonstrations by unions until an acceptable minimum wage is set by the LAC.
IndustriALL’s general secretary, Jyrki Raina, said:
Deferring a decision on the minimum wage has only strengthened workers’ resolve for better pay. As the LAC dithers, unions will simply continue to mobilize to make their voices heard. We urge the LAC to put an end to this uncertainty and agree to a significant pay increase for garment workers as soon as possible.