C-19 restrictions eased but soaring fuel prices hit workers’ cost of living
Garment workers across the country have breathed a sigh of relief with the Covid-19 pandemic gradually shifting to “endemic”, and hopefully fading in severity and receding into the context of life. normal daily life and their return to work.
Workers who had gone through immense hardship and suffering since the community event on February 20 last year were happy to return to a normal and stronger working life, with better minimum wages and overtime for a better level of life.
But, their happiness seems to be dampened by rising fuel prices and property prices hitting them hard, again making them face a cost of living crisis.
The Van Kunthy garment factory worker said yesterday she had worked at the factory for five years and was now paid a minimum wage of $197 a month, overtime of $1 an hour and that she was easily earning a salary of over $250 a month.
“I pay my monthly bills, my room rent and send money home for my elderly parents. With the high price of fuel, the prices of goods have also skyrocketed, which makes our lives difficult again,” she said, adding that the money they earn never seems enough to join the two ends.
She hopes the government and Ministry of Labor will look into their plight and see how they can help garment workers overcome their financial difficulties.
Yi Sokhom, 29, who works at a garment factory along Veng Sreng Street, said she had been working for two years and had never returned to her hometown as she had to check and balance her clothes. expenses, otherwise she would not have money to buy food. .
“I live in a room near Sambour pagoda in Dangkor district for which I pay 40 dollars per month, water and electricity cost around 50 dollars. I am a daily wage earner and I am paid 9 dollars per day she said, adding that her money was used for her children’s education, food and other household expenses.
She said the money she earns is insufficient to meet her monthly expenses and she can only work in a factory as she is uneducated and does not know any other skills.
Va Vorleak, who works as a laborer in a garment factory in Meanchey district, said she suffered a lot during the Covid-19 lockdown but now that the situation has improved significantly, her life has become well better.
“I make about $300 a month and after paying for room rentals, utilities, food and other expenses, I can still save money that I sent home to my parents,” he said. -she adds.
Labor Ministry spokesperson Heng Sour told local media on Monday that the garment and textile industries are now fully operational as the Covid-19 situation has improved significantly, allowing all sectors to reopen. .
In the first three months of this year, he said exports from the garment and textile sector rose by around 15% to more than $3 billion as the sector improved after the situation. of Covid-19 due to herd immunity.
He added that although the sector was hit hard in 2020-21, it rebounded late last year with the mushrooming of new factories and businesses, growing to almost 70 factories employing over 820,000 workers.
- Keywords: fuel prices, garment workers