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Unions To Meet With Labor Minister Next Week

Cambodian Garment workers buy some cheap food for their lunch in front of the factory in downtown of Phnom Penh, file photo.

Leaders from eight trade unions will meet with the Minister of Labor next week to discuss their demands for a minimum wage increase.

Factories have said they can only pay $110 per month for workers, who are demanding a minimum $177 per month to keep up with the cost of living in Cambodia.

Union leaders say they are prepared to lead a new campaign to demand higher wages. Major strikes last year led to a crackdown in January that left at least five people dead.

The renewed union demands come on the heels of an International Labor Organization report that says some 40 percent of workers are in weak health, due to malnutrition and other problems related to low income.

Rong Chhun, head of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, said workers are ready to “lead an new campaign” in October and November to call for a wage increase.

Labor Ministry officials could not be reached for comment.