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Garment worker unions demand higher wages
Feb '10
Chuon Mum Thol, President of Cambodian Unions Federation (CUF) has informed that the garment union representatives are to approach the industry leaders and the government with a proposal to hike minimum wages in the sector from US $50 per month to US $93 per month to enable workers to a better living standard. The issue is up for debate at a labour consultation meet in succeeding week.

Salary of $93 per month will be sufficient to afford a good standard of living while paying for food, house rent, electricity and water. But the demand for such a significant wage hike when the sector is badly affected due to the economic downturn was the big question raised by factory officials.

Chea Mony, President of Free Trade Union, who is to absent himself from the meeting, opined that the garment factory representatives will not grant a hike in the salaries from US$50 to $93 as their business are still reeling under the impact of the economic slowdown.

They may rather think over granting an increase of about $5 to $6 in wages, he added.

Cambodia's garment sector has been directly affected on account of the universal fall in global demand. When compared to 2008, last year the country's earnings from exports declined by 23.8 percent to $716.2 million.

Production centers across Cambodia have shut down, rendering a number of workers unemployed. According to the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, during last year 93 garment factories pulled down their shutters leaving 38,190 workers jobless. Other 60 factories cut down output, causing 30,000 workers to lose their jobs.

Cambodia was projected to have 516 garment and footwear factories during December, which provided employment to around 358,660 people.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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