Minimum Wage of $215 Requested for Garment Workers

The National Minimum Wage Council is slated to hold a fourth meeting to increase garment workers' wages to $215 in 2024
Factory workers leave work in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa
Factory workers leave work in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa

The National Minimum Wage Council will hold its fourth meeting on September 11, with the request for an increase to $215 from the workers’ representatives.

On Monday, the National Minimum Wage Council hosted its fourth meeting to discuss the 2024 minimum wage for textiles, clothing, footwear, travel items, and bags. During the third Minimum Wage Meeting both representatives remained to raise their reasons and state their positions.

“Workers' representatives raised $215 and employers' representatives raised $201,” according to a statement from the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training.

“As the decision has not yet been agreed, the National Minimum Wage Council will hold a fourth meeting on September 11 to determine the minimum wage for textiles, apparel, footwear, travel products, and bags in 2023,” it said.

Ath Thorn, president of the Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC), said that the employers' representatives truly do not want to increase wages, but they do so in response to the workers' representatives' request.

However, the employee salary increases are insufficient and out of line with the situation that garment workers now face.

“I think that a $1 increase is really little,” he said. “However, in the next meeting, I hope that they will increase the wage to a reasonable wage for the garment workers.”

He added that the request for an additional $15 is not excessive if compared to the current situation of garment workers.

“It is quite little since the workers spend between $250 and $300 each month,” he said. “However, we are aware that we cannot ask for more than this right now. That’s why we ask for this amount [$215].”

Ken Loo, secretary-general of Textile, Apparel, Footwear & Travel Goods Association in Cambodia, said that the request to increase garment workers’ wages is not possible due to the current situation. “The global markets are down and demand is slow,” he added.

“Cambodia's minimum wage is already higher than our competitors, such as Vietnam, Myanmar, and Bangladesh,” he said.

The ​minimum wage in Cambodia increased to $200 in 2023, up from $194 in 2022.

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