Garment wage negotiations resume today, workers could strike
Tripartite meetings to decide the minimum wage in garment factories for 2022 will resume today amid deadlocked negotiations. The unions have warned of protests if the talks fail to reach a resolution.
Secretary-General of the Ministry of Labor Strike Resolution Committee Tes Rukhaphal said Khmer time yesterday that the organization of street protests during the Covid-19 pandemic will not be possible, if tomorrow’s final negotiations between unions and employers fail.
The minimum wage negotiations for the garment industry are regulated by law, and he added that if any of the garment workers want to organize protests, they can do so in private, but they cannot go out in the street.
Cambodian Confederation of Labor President Ath Thorn said Khmer time yesterday that he hoped that the increase in wages for garment workers would be accepted by employers, in part because of bad inflation across the country.
Many textile workers are sharing news on social media about the wage negotiations and hope they will receive better payment to support themselves and their families, Thorn said.
Center for Labor and Human Rights Alliance program director Khun Tharo said workers in at least 70 different factories, in Phnom Penh and other provinces, are ready to go. go on strike if their expectations are not met.
He added that many garment factories that make products for big brands like Adidas, Nike or Levis can afford to raise their wages.
National Coalition of Trade Unions President Far Saly said Khmer time that he will join the negotiations today and that he will not decide on subsequent protests if they do not reach an agreement for the workers.
Cambodia Garment Manufacturers Association (GMAC) Deputy Secretary General Kaing Monika said any garment worker who wants to stage protests for $ 214 is a minority group of NGO-led saboteurs and does not reflect not members of the National Minimum Wage Council. .
The majority of union leaders involved in the tripartite negotiations had agreed on a final figure of $ 204, Monika said.
“We know that if the negotiations are based on technical criteria and figures that already exist, given the current state of the sector, it is very difficult to make significant changes, and will require more discussion and mutual understanding. , Monika said.
- Key words: garment workers, minimum wage