Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen recently cautioned workers that an unreasonable rise in the minimum wage could drive companies to bankruptcy and out of the country. Addressing garment workers in Phnom Penh, he urged them to be reasonable in their expectations from their employers. The minimum monthly wage for workers in the sector was set at $170 for 2018.
The labour ministry and relevant parties started talks on the minimum wage for 2019 earlier this month.
The prime minister noted that the minimum monthly wage is $67 in Bangladesh, $140 in Sri Lanka, $143 in India, $108 in Myanmar, $175 in Vietnam and $133 in Laos, according to Cambodian media reports.
He asked the labour ministry, trade unions and employers to work together to come up with a reasonable minimum wage agreement for 2019.
The government has spent $22 million to compensate factory workers whose owners fled, he said, adding that the government has been forcing factory owners to pay indemnity to avoid problems.
The Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union is planning to conduct its own study to offer inputs at the minimum wage meetings.