Tips and Tricks from Cambodia

March 6, 2013

Increasing Wage, Lowering Down Strike for Garment Workers

              Cambodia garment workers strike for minimum wage hike   Source

Cambodia is famous for its attractive low wage to the investors in the garment sectors, regardless of having no more quota to export to EU and the US. That manufacturers includes both footwear and apparels. 

This means our government's policy on attractive low wage works very well. Many garments manufacturers move from Vietnam and Thailand to Cambodia because they could spend less on labor here in Cambodia. Despite transparency issues, investors keep moving to Cambodia as wage is the main factor.

However, garment workers are not happy with the given wages. Many of them has been going on strike to claim for raise of the salary. It works very well if they strike, but if they don't, the manufacturers will not raise the salary as well. It seems to be so necessary to go on strike go get higher pay. 

But is it good for Cambodia in terms of investment attractiveness? Is it a pro to government policy? The answer is No. At least, that's to what I think. Our government tries to keep the wage lower than in Vietname and Thailand. For example, in Vietnam, the minimum wage is 6 USD per day and in Thailand 10 USD per day. Thus, Cambodia government shall keep it low; for example, 4 USD per day. In this way, Cambodia could attract more investment in the sector. 

"There will be a minimum wage adjustment every January every year, there is no need to go on strike" - said Mr. Tun Sophorn, National Coordinator at International Labour Organization in a meeting at ILO BFC on March 05, 2013.


The quote above means a lot to me, Mr. Sophorn raise a policy which could satisfy workers without having to go on strike to get higher pay. Also, our government would be ready for adjustment from years to years. For example, there will be 15% increase to every garment workers January next year, it helps a lot I think. Garment workers needlessly listen to union leader to strike and also the government could prepare for competition with other countries. 




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