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Cambodia increases apparel workers’ wages

Cambodian textile and apparel industry widely known as abusing workers and the inhuman wage has recently decided to increase workers’ minimum wage to US$190 – 5,800 baht – per month, a 4.4%increase. Officials said European Union has been pressurizing Cambodia over its human rights and political record.

Figure: Employees work at a factory supplier of the H&M brand in Kandal province, Cambodia, on Dec 12, 2018. Courtesy: Reuters

Cambodia’s textile and apparel industry is the main employer, generating US$7 billion annually. The country was facing uncertainty after the EU in February began a procedure that could cancel the special trade preferences.

The country benefits from the EU’s “Everything But Arms” (EBA) trade program, which lets it to export most goods to the EU free of duties.

Ith Sam Heng, Labor Minister of Cambodia said, “The minimum wage for textile, garment and shoe workers for 2020 is set at $190 per month.”

Tough the apparel and footwear workers demanded a higher wage than the government’s decision to sustain their lives.

“Even though this figure is not what we wanted as our position, it is positive, as Cambodia is amid uncertainties of the trade preferences,” said Pav Sina, President of the Collective Union Movement of Workers.

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