Garment workers demand wage increase now, not in 2022

CAMBODIA: Garment workers already challenged with meeting their daily expenses are pining for the minimum wage hike that are set for next year.

In September, the trade union demanded at least a $214 increase per month, but only $194 was granted.

Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour recently said that wages will increase next year with the hope to support the monthly expenses of workers.

Cambodian Labor Confederation president Ath Thorn hoped that employers would accept the increase in wages for their workers considering the inflation in the country.

Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) deputy secretary-general Kaing Monika also said the union must also have the courage to accept the result that is not only popular for the workers/union members, but practical for the economy.

The garment workers want the government to negotiate with employers, especially if they are from the provinces facing challenges with their monthly expenses.

Chuth Lysa, a 20-year-old textile factory worker making Adidas shirts, said she receives only USD 182 each month. She cannot spend more on food because she supports her parents back in their hometown. She clamours for the wage hike to take place earlier than having to wait next year.

Ey Savang, 35, Lysa’s co-worker, believes that the wage increase will not make much of a difference. Savang proposed that employers and the government should help workers by increasing their wage a little bit more.

Kuy Saveth, 36, complained about inflation that even if she is working hard, her earnings do not pay enough.

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