PHNOM PENH —
Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on employers in the garment sector to cover all of their workers’ social security payments from January.
The Sunday announcement came after Hun Sen met with thousands of garment workers for the second time in recent weeks.
After the previous meeting a week earlier, Hun Sen announced he was pledging to ensure the minimum wage in the garment sector would increase by $15 to $168 per month next year.
Cambodia’s garment sector employs more than 700,000 people and exported more than $6 billion of products in 2016, according to the latest figures from the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC).
Ath Thorn, president of the Cambodian Labor Confederation (CLC), told VOA Khmer on Monday that strikes and demonstrations were a “last resort”.
He added that despite Hun Sen’s pledge, the unions would be arguing for a hike in wages to $195 per month.
Separately, Sam Rainsy, the former president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, said recent events in Cambodia were “not different from a coup”.
“It’s not a military coup but it’s a coup against the constitution,” he said.
But Suos Yara, ruling Cambodian People’s Party spokesman, said the government was no longer concerned with statements from Rainsy, who lives in exile in France because he had “mental problems”.