Cambodia Raises Garment Industry’s Minimum Wage by 28%

Cambodia Raises Garment Industry’s Minimum Wage by 28%

Cambodian Strikers 2It was a triumphant moment for Cambodian garment industry workers this week, as the minimum wage is set to be raised by 28% to £80.

The increased wages come after months of strikes and conflict with police. Although this is very much a step in the right direction, the government has failed to meet the needs of trade unions, who were asking for %40% above the new salary.

Union workers had been taking part in peaceful protests, however armed troops were used to control the situation. Speaking on behalf of the strikers, Labour Minister Ith Sam Heng, however, had this positive message for the future;

“I believe workers will improve their living conditions, factories will be able to pay and production will increase.”

ReutersThe garment industry is Cambodia’s main source of income, generating roughly $5bn a year, through manufacturing for western fashion outlets. In contrast to Ith Sam Heng’s remarks, Joel Preston of labour rights group Community legal Education Centre, stated;

“There is going to be a really strong response from the unions and from the workers. This decision is completely unacceptable.”

It’s a step in the right direction, but with such corruption, further progress isn’t going to be easy.

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