A tripartite group consisting of employers, unions and the government finished discussing the draft law on minimum wage yesterday. Labour Minister Ith Samheng said yesterday’s talks were the last public workshop to discuss the draft law on minimum wage after two workshops had already taken place.
“This is the last tripartite workshop to discuss the draft law on minimum wage. We will send the draft law to relevant ministries and then it will be sent to the government before being sent to the National Assembly for approval,” he said. Mr Samheng said the draft law would be beneficial to workers and the nation as a whole because it intended to promote a decent living, create job opportunities and increase worker productivity, as well as push for increased investment opportunities. “I hope we can have this law approved before the end of June.
“We do not want it to take any longer because everyone is waiting for it,” he said, adding the law would not have any negative side effects. The draft law has 33 articles across six chapters.
From 1997 to 2017, the government increased the minimum wage in the garment sector from $30 per month to $153. Starting this month, garment industry workers are paid $170 per month. Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, said yesterday he did not oppose the draft law any more because it would help workers in other sectors as well. “When this law is approved, employers in other sectors will not be able to give their employees a salary lower than the minimum wage,” he said. Van Sou Ieng, chairman of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, said yesterday that once approved, the draft law would help parties representing employers, employees and the government to find a standard minimum wage. He said he wanted employers from other sectors, such as tourism, hospitality or agriculture, to participate in the future. “I want the other sectors to join in negotiations because we, GMAC, know the cost in the garment and footwear sector, but not for the other sectors, so they should join,” he said.