29 September, 2022After several rounds of negotiations in the National Council on Minimum Wage (NCMW), the Cambodian government has decided to increase the minimum wage for the garment sector with US$6 to US$200, effective as of 1 January 2023.
Amid intimidation, IndustriALL affiliates in Cambodia, FTUWKC, CCAWDU and CUMW have been campaigning for a raise of the minimum wage from the current US$194 to US$215. The garment manufacturers association had argued that the minimum wage remain at US$194.
“The increased minimum wage is a positive development for garment workers in Cambodia, but trade unions are still demanding a living wage, and the fight for that will continue,”
says Christina Hajagos-Clausen, IndustriALL textile and garment director.
Soaring food and fuel prices in Cambodia and a high inflation is adding pressure on garment workers, and trade unions are unhappy with the US$6 increase.
“The new minimum wage is not good enough to cushion the rising cost of living. The government must take measures to control inflation so that workers can survive on their wages.
“In addition, some workers' benefits had been reduced in the past three years, like the number of national holidays reduced from 22 days to six, and the replacement leave if a national holiday falls on a Sunday, removed,”
says Pav Sina, CUMW president.