Cambodia’s Labour Minister Ith Sam Heng has announced the new wage of US$ 128 per month, after the ministry’s 28-member Labour Advisory Committee (LAC)—made up of government, union and factory representatives—voted for a new wage of $123.
Including transportation, seniority and other bonuses, workers will be able to earn a total monthly salary of between $147 and $156 a month next year, a Labour Ministry statement said. The new wage will take effect on the 1st of January, 2015 for most workers.
In December 2013, against the trade unions’ demand of $160 per month, the wage was increased from $80 per month to $95 per month, which was subsequently raised to $100 per month.
Some trade unions like the National Independent Federation of Textile Unions in Cambodia have been demanding a substantial hike in the minimum wage, insisting that $100 was not nearly enough to meet the basic needs of most garment workers, even factoring in overtime, monthly bonuses and allowances for food and transportation.
The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), which represents most of the country’s garment factories, said with the standard bonuses and allowances, the base pay for the garment industry, will now rise to $145, bringing Cambodia just about level with Vietnam, where garment workers are significantly more productive.