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Cambodian Government Raises Minimum Wage for Garment and Footwear Sectors to USD182 for 2019

Updated:2018-10-8 11:08:36    Source:www.tannet-group.comViews:220

According to theLabor Minister Ith Samheng, the Cambodian government has set a new monthly minimum wage for the country's multi-billion-dollar garment and footwear industries at 182 U.S. dollars for 2019, up 7 percent from the current 170 U.S. dollars.

The announcement came after the Labor Advisory Committee (LAC) voted on a minimum wage of 177 U.S. dollars for 2019, which was then upped an additional 5 U.S. dollars by the government.

The LAC is comprised of 28 members, including 14 government representatives and seven each from the garment manufacturers and the trade unions.

"Today, the LAC decided on the monthly minimum wage of 177 U.S. dollars and Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen added another five U.S. dollars, so the minimum wage for the garment and footwear industries for 2019 is 182 U.S. dollars per month," Samheng told a press conference.

The minister said besides the monthly minimum wage, workers will still receive other fringe benefits including an extra 10 U.S. dollars per month for regular attendance and an extra seven U.S. dollars per month for transportation and rent.

The new wage will take effect on Jan. 1, 2019, he said.

"This is good news for all garment and footwear workers, and I'm confident that the wage hike will help improve their workers' livelihood," the minister said.

According to Samheng, to ease the expense burden of the manufacturers, the government decided to lower the electricity price for garment and footwear industries to 0.147 U.S. dollars per kilowatt-hour.

Van Sou Ieng, president of the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia, said the new minimum wage was a bit high that could be a challenge for the country's garment and footwear industries to compete with other countries.

"I think it is a bit high because we have to compete with countries like Vietnam, which has better productivity, so it's going to be a challenge for our sectors," he told reporters, noting that in Vietnam, the monthly minimum wage was 184 U.S. dollars.

Ath Thorn, president of the Cambodian Labor Confederation, said the new minimum wage was "acceptable."

Garment and footwear industries are the largest foreign exchange earner for the Southeast Asian nation. According to government figures, the country earned 4.1 billion U.S. dollars from garment and footwear exports in the first six months of 2018, accounting for about 70 percent of the kingdom's total export.

The industries consist of about 1,100 factories with more than 740,000 workers, mostly females. (Source: Xinhua News)

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