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Minimum wage to be decided

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Labour ministry spokesperson Heng Sour said negotiations on a minimum wage for workers had achieved progress but there was no agreement. Hean Rangsey

Minimum wage to be decided

The National Council on Minimum Wage will decide on a wage increase for workers in the garment, footwear, textile and travel product sectors at a meeting on Thursday after a figure could not be reached at a tripartite meeting on Wednesday.

Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training spokesperson Heng Sour, who headed the tripartite meeting between representatives of employers, the government and workers told reporters that negotiations on a minimum wage for workers had achieved progress but there was no agreement.

“Three parties agreed that this Thursday, we will continue to discuss it before making a final decision. We have made progress and have achieved a mutual understanding of the actual situation of these sectors in the context of the Covid-19 crisis which has affected all countries in the world.

“We asked to suspend figures that are in the first stage. Tomorrow, we will present the last figures of each party. Negotiations on the minimum wage this year were not tense.

“We are surprised that they [three parties] have achieved a mutual understanding. Although a calculation will be biased, each party is basing their figures on the same seven criteria,” he said.

Sour said workers will be happy when they know their minimum wages for next year before they take days off during the P’chum Ben festival.

Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) deputy secretary-general Kaing Monika told The Post on Wednesday: “We [will] try our best to reach an agreement to express our solidarity in this time of crisis.”

Trade union representatives released a figure of at least $12 per month increase for the workers next year. They reiterated that a new figure will be revealed at the meeting on Thursday.

National Trade Union Coalition president Far Saly told The Post that negotiations went smoothly.

But employer representatives asked to keep the minimum of $190, while trade union representatives said they would release a new figure on Thursday.

Cambodian Labour Confederation president Ath Thon said a common figure couldn’t be agreed upon.

Thon said employers claimed they could not increase wages but the unions said wages must be raised.

He said if no agreement could be made on Thursday, the government would decide on the wages.

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