Minimum Wage Negotiations for Factory Workers Continue

Negotiations to finalise the minimum wage for garment, footwear and travel goods workers in 2024 are continuing, with no agreement on the horizon
Factory workers leave work in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa
Factory workers leave work in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa

The Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training (MLVT) and the National Council of Minimum Wage launched their second round of negotiations on Monday to review the monthly minimum wage for workers in the garment, footwear, and travel goods (GFT) sector for 2024.

According to MLVT's Facebook Page, MLVT’s Minister, Heng Sour, met each representative on social and economic criteria changes, as well as representatives of employers and employees again to debate workers’ 2024 wages.

The second meeting saw representatives reason and express their internal positions, while the government sides compromised and provided additional explanations on the negotiations.

After ending the session, Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW), told Kiripost, “This second negotiation isn’t much different from the first, because both have expressed our concerns and reasons for each side.”

The government officials also explained the challenges, including the consequences, and urged all parties to be patient. “Even though it was just the second round, we have seen everything is the same as the previous time,” Sina said.

He added that as Cambodia has just announced a new government, the monthly minimum wage for workers in the GFT sector for 2024 should gain positive outcomes.

The next negotiations will take place on September 4, with the outcome still unclear. A final agreement will be scheduled after that.

Kaing Monika, deputy secretary general at the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC), said “We will have five more meetings before the final decision on October 2.”

He added that the negotiation process is taking longer because each representative is bringing detailed proposals to the table. Therefore, several more meetings are needed for an agreement to be reached.