Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Minimum wage talks loom

Minimum wage talks loom

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng has announced that internal negotiations for the 2021 minimum wage for workers in the textile, garment and footwear industries will begin next month. Hean Rangsey

Minimum wage talks loom

Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng has announced that internal negotiations for the 2021 minimum wage for workers in the textile, garment and footwear industries will begin next month.

According to a ministry announcement signed by Sam Heng on Wednesday, union representatives, employers and government officials will convene meetings separately and deliberate on how to present their cases.

After August wages are paid, the three sides will come together and start having official discussions on the matter.

Unions, meanwhile, fear the negotiations could be tense as the Covid-19 pandemic has caused major disruptions to the global economy.

Sam Heng said the final decision on the minimum wage will be made at a council meeting in September and will go into effect on January 1, 2021.

“All parties will use official and legal data and technical research. Social characteristics [family situation, inflation rate and daily expenses] and economic evaluations [productivity, the competitiveness of the country, market situation, and profits of all sectors] will also play a large role,” he said.

The poverty line will also be evaluated and discussed to determine common ground for each party involved in the negotiations, he added.

Since 2014, the government has implemented several policies to increase the minimum wages of workers in the textile, garment and footwear sectors each year.

The minimum wage for this year was previously set to $190 per month.

Pav Sina, the president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, confirmed that the parties involved will start discussing the minimum wage separately next month.

He expects the unique threat posed by Covid-19 will lead to more contentious negotiations than in years past.

“We know that the previous negotiations, even though there were no serious problems, there were some assertions from employers which caused a stir. The negotiations this year will be more tense than in other years.”

As a union representative, he said he is glad and ready to join the discussion. He expects unions to form a research group to find scientific sets of data which can be used in the negotiations.

Kaing Monika, the deputy secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, told The Post on Thursday that employers in the textile sectors throughout the world are in a difficult situation and are uncertain about the future of their industry.

“The World Bank also predicted that the world economy this year will drop five per cent. During such difficult times, a discussion on raising wages is not totally suitable,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Provinces on Thai borders put in lockdown amid Delta fears

    The government has decided to place several border provinces in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to prevent the new coronavirus Delta variant spreading further into community. According a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28, the provinces include Koh Kong,

  • Delta spreading in Kingdom

    Cambodia has so far detected more than 200 cases of the highly contagious coronavirus Delta variant, with 109 found on July 31 and August 1. The Ministry of Health has expressed deep concerns that the variant may have already reached communities and be spreading as some of the cases

  • US' Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines arrive

    The first batch of 455,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine donated by the US touched down in Phnom Penh on the morning of July 30. They are part of the total 1,060,100 doses the US has pledged to provide to Cambodia through the World Health Organisation-led (

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four