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Police Ban Teacher Demonstration Over Salaries

Phnom Penh police clashed with demonstrating teachers on Monday, as a union demonstration for higher government salaries was banned.

Teachers are demanding a raise from around $30 a month to $250, a demand the government said was not possible.

Police said the members of the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association had gathered in public without a permit. No one was injured, witnesses said.

“One cannot teach on an empty stomach,” said Rong Chhun, president of the teacher’s association.

Meanwhile, the Cambodian Confederation of Trade Unions on Monday requested the Ministry of Labor raise minimum salaries for factory workers from $50 per month to $93, as high food prices continue to eat into monthly budgets.

The minimum salary was “not a lot,” conceded Ken Loo, secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia. “But $50, for the workers, as a minimum, the workers can survive.”

If they work with incentives from factories, working hard to sew many garments, workers can earn up to $150 a month, he said.

“We want to create the incentive for the workers to work hard,” he said.