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
http://phnompenhpost.com/national/gmac-claims-true-wages-%E2%80%98exaggerated%E2%80%99

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
http://phnompenhpost.com/national/most-are-ok-new-wage-not-all

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
http://phnompenhpost.com/business/gti-price-resilient-over-strikes

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
http://phnompenhpost.com/national/no-boycott-union-meet-could-decide-wage-today

Union proposal for minimum wage scrapped in Cambodia

October 31st, 2014 , Worldbulletin News

Activists have decried a decision by the Ministry of Labour to disregard union pleas for a hike in the minimum wage for some of the country’s 500,000 garment workers, one warning that it could lead to civil unrest. …

The unions’ wage proposal received only seven votes after two of the unions abstained from voting, the Daily reported, while the factory and government proposals received nine votes each. …

World Bulletin News Staff
http://www.worldbulletin.net/union-proposal-for-minimum-wage-scrapped-in-cambodia/147476/union-proposal-for-minimum-wage-scrapped-in-cambodia

Factory’s workers ordered back

October 30th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Thousands of employees at Grand Twins International, Cambodia’s only publicly listed garment factory, will be back at the assembly line today after nearly two weeks on strike, accepting a court order to return to work.

Workers will follow the order the Phnom Penh Municipal Court issued Monday to return, Grand Twins staff representative Kao Vannet said yesterday, but will continue trying to get the benefits they demand.

The strike is the first Grand Twins International has experienced since its establishment in 1997, Grand Twins chief strategy officer David Liu said during an interview at the factory yesterday. …

Sean Teehan and Mom Kunthear
http://phnompenhpost.com/national/factory%E2%80%99s-workers-ordered-back

Transparency boosting Cambodia factory improvements

October 22nd, 2014 , Just-Style

Transparent reporting of garment factory compliance in Cambodia is
continuing to help to improve conditions for workers, according to a new
report.

In its third online transparency report, the International Labor
Organization (ILO’s) Better Factories Cambodia (BFC) programme said two
of the 13 factories in the Low Compliance group had made 31 improvements
and moved off the list. …

Michelle Russell
http://www.just-style.com/news/transparency-boosting-cambodia-factory-improvements_id123308.aspx

Poverty line $120, gov’t says

October 3rd, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Workers in Cambodia’s capital earning less than $120 per month are living below the poverty line, according to the Ministry of Planning’s own calculation.

At a September 17 workshop on the garment industry minimum wage, International Labor Organization Cambodia national director Tun Sophorn cited Ministry of Planning data that put the poverty line at $120, he said yesterday. …

Sean Teehan
http://phnompenhpost.com/national/poverty-line-120-gov%E2%80%99t-says

Mass firing at Xin Fang factory

September 9th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

In a mass firing the scale of which has not been seen since January, Phnom Penh’s Xin Fang garment factory yesterday terminated 106 employees for protesting in front of the factory.

Management at the Por Sen Chey district factory on Thursday already sacked nearly 30 striking workers who ignored a court injunction for them to return to work, said Vong Thavin, Xin Fang’s administrative manager. …

Mom Kunthear
http://phnompenhpost.com/national/mass-firing-xin-fang-factory

‘Solvable problems’ focus of fainting review

August 25th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Amid reports of increased mass-fainting incidents in Cambodia’s garment sector, workers, employers and government officials gathered in Phnom Penh yesterday for a roundtable discussion on the issue.

The conference, which was organised by the Cambodian Center for Independent Media, identified issues such as workday lengths and holidays as solvable problems that could reduce a large number of garment worker faintings, said Labour Ministry Inspection Department Director Ouk Chanthou. …

Mom Kunthear
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/%E2%80%98solvable-problems%E2%80%99-focus-fainting-review

Delay on maid deal: ministry

August 25th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

The Ministry of Labour plans to delay signing off on a controversial agreement to reopen a pipeline of Cambodian maids to Malaysia until a deal is reached on a second agreement regarding other migrant workers, a ministry official said yesterday.

Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour told the Post that no date has been set for the final discussions over the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding domestic workers, but Cambodia is “proposing [that the] Malaysian side … also draft [a second] MoU” concerning workers including those in manufacture and agriculture industries. …

Alice Cuddy
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/delay-maid-deal-ministry

Unions in push for park rally

August 8th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

As the razor-wire came down from Freedom Park on Wednesday, a group of unions quickly filed a request to be the first people to hold a demonstration inside the park since it was put into lockdown in early January.

The letter, obtained by the Post yesterday, calls on Phnom Penh Governor Pa Socheatvong to allow six unions to hold the rally on International Youth Day on Tuesday.

Sar Mora, president of the Cambodian Food and Service Workers’ Federation, said that the demonstration would call for higher salaries, improved working conditions, a better quality of education and vocational training for the Kingdom’s youths. …

Mom Kunthear and Alice Cuddy
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/unions-push-park-rally

Unions up wage demands

August 5th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Deposite not coming close to achieving their goal of a $160 monthly minimum garment wage, unions announced yesterday that they will raise their demands to $177 for 2015.

Ken Chhenglang, acting pres­ident of the National Independent Federation Textile Union of Cambodia (NIFTUC), said about 10 union representatives had last week reached an agreement to push for this figure in a meeting with employers scheduled for Friday. …

Mom Kunthear
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/unions-wage-demands

Migrants in ‘hurry’ to get back to work

August 1st, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

A survey of 10 Cambodian provinces is studying the whereabouts and plans of migrant workers who were recently repatriated from Thailand, fearing crackdowns on foreign workers there after the coup.

During a workshop hosted by Coordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility (CARAM) yesterday, Ministry of Interior secretary of state Chou Bun Eng said early indications show many workers are opting to cross back into Thailand illegally, rather than going through legal channels. …

Sen David
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/migrants-%E2%80%98hurry%E2%80%99-get-back-work

Expatriates need IDs: government

July 30th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Expatriates working in Cambodia without labour identification cards will face fines and even jail when strict new enforcement kicks in, according to a July 16 joint statement from the ministries of interior and labour.

Government inspectors, the statement adds, will begin checking workplaces immediately in order to fully enforce a law the ministries say has rarely been enforced.

Under that law, employers, the statement adds, must provide ID cards to expatriates, separate to their visas. …

Chhay Channyda
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/expatriates-need-ids-government

Wages do not compute: ILO

July 30th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

NGOs say the Ministry of Labour’s use of its own method for determining the garment industry’s minimum wage is risking a repeat of the tensions that exploded in violent protests in January, when authorities killed at least five people.

More than six months after the Labour Ministry commissioned the International Labour Organization to help set a formula to calculate the garment sector’s minimum wage, the advice has not been heeded, ILO national project coordinator Tun Sophorn said. …

Sean Teehan
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/wages-do-not-compute-ilo