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Minimum Wage Raised to $204/Month for Factory Workers

PHNOM PENH: After 20 meetings of back-and-forth between representatives of factory owners and factory workers, a settlement on the minimum wage for 2024 has been reached, falling short of the workers initial request for $215.

The meetings to determine next year’s minimum wage began in August, where initial figures were not disclosed. Since then, about 20 meetings have been held on the subject, none of which managed to end in an agreement. The government set a deadline of September 28 for all parties to come to a consensus and it was met today with a settlement on $202, which was bolstered by the government to $204 per month.

Union representatives initially pushed for a $215 minimum wage, but by the 19th meeting agreed to lower their request to $213. The minimum wage for 2023 is $200 and employers would only concede to a $1.50 increase, allotting workers an extra $18 over the course of the year, before tax.

In today’s final meeting, the National Minimum Wage Council, composed of representatives from the government, unions and employers, voted 46 to 5 to raise the minimum wage to $202. The five remainders held to the $213 proposal.

The garment, footwear and travel goods industry is the largest foreign exchange earner for Cambodia. The sector consists of roughly 1,077 factories and branches, employing approximately 800,000 workers, mostly female. The new minimum wage will take effect from Jan. 1, 2024.

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