Unions hope for minimum wage increase
With Cambodia having gone through economic turmoil, just like other countries in the world, it is difficult to say in which direction the third tripartite negotiations on the national minimum wage for next year will take.
Third tripartite negotiations with the National Minimum Wage Council began yesterday at the Ministry of Labor with union representatives demanding a $ 6 increase from the current minimum wage of $ 198 for workers in the garment and footwear sector. .
Employers, meanwhile, want the minimum wage cut to $ 188 per month for workers as they have reportedly suffered heavy losses during the lockdown or shutdown due to Covid-19.
The government has offered $ 192, given the economic shock and turmoil caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has severely affected not only the clothing and footwear industry, but many other industries and workers as well.
Bargaining talks have started with union representatives proposing a $ 6 increase to the current minimum wage.
The outcome of the negotiation talks will be known on September 28.
The President of the Collective Union of the Workers’ Movement (CUMW), Pav Sina, said Khmer time yesterday that employers want the minimum wage to be reduced to $ 188, which is unacceptable given the current cost of living.
This year, he said, workers face many challenges, especially the increased cost of living.
Employers, he added, cannot demand such a low minimum wage as the Commerce Ministry revealed that clothing exports have increased in the last eight months of this year.
“Employers don’t care about the welfare, suffering and hardship of workers. They have many expenses including room, food, and loans. The only reason they keep saying is the Covid-19 pandemic, ”Sina said.
He said union leaders were also reasonable in reducing the previous salary proposal from $ 214 to $ 204.
Golden Gain Shoes Factory worker Sina Chan said he has been following the negotiations, but it is time for employers and government to also understand the difficulties faced by workers and that it is becoming very difficult to make ends meet.
Cambodia Garment Manufacturers Association (GMAC) Deputy Secretary General Kaing Monika said the meeting aims to review the current minimum wage taking into account the social and economic situation.
Employers have their own issues and issues right now with the Covid-19 crisis. Employers are absorbing the losses and operating costs of this critical economic situation, Monika said.
Labor Ministry spokesman Heng Sour said almost every country in the world faces the same problem when it involves employers and workers.
- Key words: minimum wage, unions