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Construction workers call for baseline wage

Workers hold signs demanding a minimum wage and social security coverage for construction workers outside the National Assembly yesterday, a day ahead of International Workers’ Day.
Workers hold signs demanding a minimum wage and social security coverage for construction workers outside the National Assembly yesterday, a day ahead of International Workers’ Day. Eliah Lillis

Construction workers call for baseline wage

A day ahead of May Day, the Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia held a small rally outside the National Assembly demanding the inclusion of construction workers within the minimum wage framework and new guidelines for workplace safety.

Around 200 workers, equipped with high-visibility vests and hardhats, stood outside the assembly yesterday shouting slogans. They presented the legislative body with a five-point petition that also calls for their inclusion in the National Social Security Fund worker safety net.

“We suggested those five points because some construction workers face many problems with their jobs. They do not have certainty over the minimum wage,” BWTUC President Sok Kin told the workers.

Despite not being covered by the minimum wage, construction workers earn better-than-average wages, given the construction boom and an influx of skilled foreign labour.

The rally came a day before 3,000 workers, from across economic sectors are expected to march from the Russian Embassy on Sothearos Boulevard to the National Assembly to mark International Workers’ Day.

The march is set to take place despite Phnom Penh City Hall’s refusal last week to give the green light.

Yesterday’s rally was attended by prominent garment worker unionists, such as Yang Sophorn, president of the Cambodian Association of Trade Unions.

Sophorn said it had taken many years for garment workers to have their voices heard and encouraged construction workers to vociferously put forth their own demands.

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