The Cambodia’s Ministry of Labour has scheduled a meeting on February 26 with representatives of various unions to discuss the new minimum wage for garment workers in the country.
However, the Ministry expects the various workers’ unions to agree on what the new wage should be before they attend the meeting.
At present, the union leaders are not unanimous on the amount by which minimum wage should be hiked for the garment workers.
The Cambodia Labour Union Federation is demanding that the minimum wage be increased by about 50 percent from the current US$ 61 per month to US$ 93 per month.
The Free Trade Union of Workers, the kingdom’s largest trade union, has urged that the minimum wage be raised to US$ 120 per month in view of the rising food and fuel costs.
However, the Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union has called for raising the minimum wage of apparel workers by 145 percent to US$ 150 per month.
The Ministry of Labour is working on reaching a consensus to raise the minimum wage of clothing workers following a call given by Prime Minister Hun Sen to raise the salaries of garment workers in order to prevent them from moving to neighbouring countries to draw better wages.
The garment industry is the largest foreign exchange earner for Cambodia. It consists of over 300 manufacturing units that together employ around 335,000 workers, 90 percent of whom are female.
In 2012, Cambodia exported clothing and textiles worth US$ 4.61 billion, registering a rise of nine percent year-on-year.