Takeo garment workers protest at Ministry of Labour

November 12th, 2015 , The Phnom Penh Post

More than 300 garment workers from Takeo province protested in front of the Ministry of Labour yesterday, following two weeks of strikes over working conditions.

Workers requested intervention from the ministry over the dismissal of 1,000 striking workers as well as 13 demands including lunch money, a transportation allowance and conforming to wage laws. …

Pech Sotheary

Fighting child labour

October 7th, 2015 , The Phnom Penh Post

While Cambodia marginally stepped up efforts to combat child labour in 2014, a lack of resources and corruption remain massive impediments to the fight, according to a report released by the United States Department of Labor last week. …

It attributed those improvements largely to beefed-up inspections from the Ministry of Labour, which increased the number of inspectors trained to find child labour from 35 in 2013 to 58 in 2014. …

Charles Rollet

Unions’ house divided

September 24th, 2015 , The Phnom Penh Post

A secret ballot yesterday failed to resolve garment union splits over what to demand at upcoming minimum wage talks, with at least one independent union rejecting the majority vote of $158 and vowing to put forward $178.

The division came a day after Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour warned that unions would forfeit their chance of submitting a proposal if they failed to offer up a single figure for Friday’s tripartite talks with manufacturers and the government to raise the minimum wage.​ …

Mom Kunthear and Shaun Turton

Hundreds of thousands without Thai work papers

June 12th, 2015 , The Phnom Penh Post

With less than three weeks left until the deadline, over 300,000 Cambodian migrants registered in Thailand have not completed the verification process necessary to receive work visas, raising the possibility of a repeat of last year’s mass exodus.

According to figures from the Thai Labour Ministry obtained yesterday, out of almost 520,000 registered Cambodian migrants, approximately 98,000 already had all the necessary documentation, while around 107,000 have completed the verification process and now possess work visas valid until March 2016. But almost 314,000 do not have passports and are yet to be verified. …

Charles Parkinson

Tally of goods linked to child labour grows

December 3rd, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Four more goods made in Cambodia have been linked to exploitative child labour, adding to a mounting list of items the United States considers to be produced in violation of international rights laws. …

The mounting number of Cambodian goods found to use child labour runs counter to the global trend, according to an International Labour Organisation report cited by the US. While there were an estimated 215 million child labourers worldwide in 2008, the figure declined to 168 million in 2012. But of the labouring children, more than 50 per cent were engaged in hazardous work.

Three of the four sectors most recently added to Cambodia’s list are considered hazardous and therefore illegal work for children, according to a government prakas. …

Laignee Barron

Authorities warn union leader

November 24th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Police on Friday warned labour union leader Pav Sina that if he continues to lead protests – thereby violating the rules of a court order – he will be arrested.

The Collective Union of Movement of Workers leader was called to the Choam Chao commune police station in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district on Friday afternoon. There, Sina said, police warned him if he continued leading protests, like the thousands of striking Chim Li factory workers who marched with him to the National Assembly and Ministry of Labour last week, he will be jailed. …

Mom Kunthear

GMAC claims on true wages ‘exaggerated’

November 21st, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) said in a statement this week that under the new minimum wage workers can actually earn up to $250 per month, though others were quick to label the figure exaggerated.

The Ministry of Labour last week approved the new wage in Cambodia’s garment sector, which comes on top of legally required benefits such as transportation, accommodation and meal allowances. The new wage of $128 – up from $100 – will go into effect January 1. …

Mom Kunthear and Sean Teehan

Most are OK with the new wage, not all

November 17th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

After meeting with members, several labour union leaders yesterday said that they will not hold protests against the government-set garment industry minimum wage for 2015.

Minister of Labour Ith Sam Heng last week approved $128 as 2015’s minimum monthly wage in Cambodia’s garment sector. The increase, up from the current wage of $100, goes into effect January 1. …

Mom Kunthear

GTI price resilient over strikes

November 14th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

It’s been a testing month for Taiwanese garment manufacturer Grand Twins International (GTI), with recurring worker demonstrations and a new sector-wide minimum-wage level set just this week.

But despite the turbulence, GTI stock – one of just two companies trading on the Cambodian Stock Exchange (CSX) – has proved to be more durable than analysts initially anticipated.

Since October 20, GTI garment workers have conducted rolling demonstrations calling for increased benefits including $1.25 per day for lunch and $15 per month for travel and accommodation. The factory’s management said the strikes were the first in the company’s 18-year history. …

Eddie Morton

No boycott: Union meet could decide wage today

November 12th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Independent labour unions will take part in the Ministry of Labour’s Labour Advisory Committee (LAC) meeting today, possibly making their decision on next year’s minimum wage in Cambodia’s garment sector. …

NIFTUC and the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) considered boycotting the LAC after a working group decided to propose that the LAC consider only an employer-suggested wage of $110 and government-suggested wage of $121. …

Sean Teehan