Cambodian Journalists Alliance Association

Garment sector minimum wage reaches $190

The garment workers working inside the factory. Stringer

The minimum wage for garment factory factors has been raised $8 to $190 for 2020, according to a vote by the National Wage Council today.

The council, made up of 17 representatives each from the government, employers and unions, agreed on a $187 rate, which was bumped up to $190 at Prime Minister Hun Sen’s request, according to a notice from the Labor Ministry.

New employees on probation would receive $185 for the first three months, the notice said.

Beside wages, other benefits and allowances would remain the same as the previous agreement, it said.

Duong Tola, 39, a factory worker and union leader for Kandal province’s E Garment factory, said he was disappointed by the $8 increase.

“Compared to the last few years, when the wage increased between $12 and 13 at least, this year is only $8,” Tola said.

“In the meantime, rents will increase and potentially [the cost of] utilities could also increase,” he said.

Tola said he was not sure the wage hike could keep up with inflation.

The low wage rise was compounded by the removal of six public holidays next year, which he said will cost workers about $8 per lost holiday due to lack of overtime pay.