PHNOM PENH. Outlawing demonstrations for higher wages could become Cambodian law. A new proposal has created a furore among labour unions, but is welcomed by the employers’ organization. Textile workers, that produce clothes for among others the Swedish fashion industry, are in the midst of the conflict.
Minimum wages have been a recurrent issue in labour market politics in Cambodia. For the 800 000 employees in the textile industry, wage levels have been the source of conflict. The present minimum wage of 153 dollars per month has led to hefty protests from workers. The textile industry has a central importance industry in a country with a population of 16 million, as well as its exports give vital income to the economy.
At the end of last year the government presented a proposal that sought to sooth the conflict by creating a committee that represented the State, the employers as well as the labour unions. The future minimum wage level would be agreed through this structure, although it would continue to be based on other trades.