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Workers Say $128 Per Month Is Not Enough To Live On

Pilot Project to Boost Nutrition for Cambodian Garment Workers
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A study by the International Labor Organization, the U.N.'s labor body, shows most Cambodian garment workers do not eat enough nutritious food and that, as a result, many are anemic and even underweight.

Cambodian unions say they will not agree to a minimum wage proposed by the Cambodian government.

Union leaders say the government’s proposed minimum wage of $128 per month will not be enough for workers to keep up with the rising cost of living in the country.

A minimum monthly wage of $177 is needed, many workers say.

In interviews with VOA Khmer, factory workers describe poor living conditions and poor eating habits as a result of their low wages—adding to research already conducted that shows declining health amid factory workers due to poor nutrition.

Soy Chanthorn, a garment worker in Touek Tla, outside Phnom Penh, said she never eats meat or “expensive food” because of her low wages. She says she needs $177 per month, as the prices for everything have “gone up.”

Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, said that unions have surveyed their workers and have decided to continue to “campaign” for the higher wage mark.

Unions have begun getting thumbprints from unions as a petition to hand over to the Ministry of Labor, he said.