The Pnomh Penh Post reported today that, following an at-times turbulent process, Cambodia yesterday set the 2016 minimum wage for garment workers at $140 per month, a $12 increase from the current rate of $128 but well below union demands for $160.

Labour Minister Ith Samheng announced yesterday that the government’s wage-setting group, the Labour Advisory Committee, first voted on increasing the wage to $135, after which Prime Minister Hun Sen mandated an additional $5, as he did last year.

Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian
Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union,
places his vote at the Ministry of Labour yesterday
for the garment industries 2016 minimum wage. Heng Chivoan

The 28-member LAC, 14 from the government and the other 14 equally split between unions and employers, overwhelmingly voted for the government figure of $135 submitted by a tripartite working group on Wednesday night.

The announcement of the final $140 rate, far less than union demands, angered some. Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union, said he would begin talks with other unions to potentially hold mass strikes after the Pchum Ben holiday. “I cannot accept this figure. I need $160. I expect that there are between 50 to 60 per cent of workers who will not accept this figure,” he said.

Full article here.

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