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Cambodian PM urges garment workers to avoid strikes
20
Jun '13
Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen has made an appeal to the country’s garment workers to avoid resorting to strikes or else business orders may shift to other countries.
 
Speaking in Kandal province located in the southeastern portion of the country, the Prime Minister said the monthly minimum wage in Cambodia has been increased to US$ 80 since last month, and the new wage is better than that received by garment workers in countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar and India.
 
The Prime Minister was inaugurating a high school in the province’s Ang Snuol district, which is home to nearly 30 clothing factories.
 
Mr. Sen said although the salaries are not in sync with the demands of the workers, they are more than what their counterparts received in some other countries that compete with Cambodia in garment exports.
 
In his speech, the Prime Minister asked garment workers not to resort to strikes as doing so would make investors leave Cambodia, which would be not good for the country’s economy.
 
The Prime Minister urged the Labour Ministry, and representatives of the employers as well as workers to regularly convene tripartite meetings to balance wage increases. He warned that overpaying workers could result in a situation similar to Greece’s debt crisis.
 
Mr. Sen’s appeal has come a day after a protest by several workers of a garment factory in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district. Last week, many workers were fired by a sportswear factory after pay protests.
 
From January to March 2013, Cambodia exported US$ 1.34 billion worth of garments, showing a rise of 17.5 percent year-on-year. 
 
Last year, Cambodia exported apparels worth US$ 4.61 billion, registering a growth of nine percent compared to exports of US$ 4.24 billion made in 2011.
 
The garment sector employs about 500,000 people and is the main foreign exchange earner for Cambodia, accounting for about 80 percent of the country’s overall exports.
 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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