The Government of Cambodia has urged the workers’ unions and garment unit owners to be flexible, after the wage negotiations ended in a deadlock this week.
Speaking to reporters, Mr. Sat Samouth, Under Secretary of State in the Ministry of Labour, said he has requested the union leaders to decrease their demand and also urged the representatives of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) to increase the wage they would like to give, to reach an early compromise.
He said the Government is optimistic that both the sides would be able to agree on new minimum wage by April.
At the two-day talks attended by representatives of several workers’ unions as well as the GMAC, garment entrepreneurs stuck to their stand of increasing the minimum wage from the current US$ 61 per month to US$ 72 per month.
On the other hand, representatives of garment workers’ unions were demanding that minimum wage be doubled to about US$ 120 per month at the start of the negotiations, and had toned down their demand to US$ 100 per month when the talks ended.
The two-day talks between the employers and the workers’ unions were coordinated by the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Social Affairs.
In spite of failing to agree on the new minimum wage for garment workers, both the parties have decided to nominate their representatives for an independent committee that would be established to decide on the minimum wage issue.
The Cambodian apparel industry employs over 300,000 workers, with more than 90 percent of them being female.