Cambodian beer promotion workers struggle for better conditions at Cambrew Ltd.
There are approximately 6000 beer promotion workers in Cambodia. These women are employed by various breweries to promote and sell a particular brand of beer at bars and restaurants. Unlike garment workers in Cambodia, there is no national minimum wage for beer promotion workers; wages are set by the beer companies themselves.
According to Cambodian Labor Law, a minimum wage “must ensure every worker of a decent standard of living compatible with human dignity,” but it is well documented that the beer promotion workers’ wage is not enough for them to meet their basic needs. The average wage reported by beer promotion workers in 2012 was less than US$100 per month, while their basic cost of living was around US$177.
As is the case in the garment industry, a number of beer promotion workers have joined unions to demand better working conditions and benefts from the companies they represent. This report will look at the situation for workers who promote the nation’s number one beer, Angkor Beer. Angkor beer promotion workers are employed by the nation’s biggest brewer, Cambrew Ltd., which is 50% owned by the fourth largest brewery group in the world, the Danish company Carlsberg.
In 2012, Carlsberg reported holding 64% of the beer market in Cambodia, solidifying its position as the number one supplier to the country.2 In 2013, Carlsberg attributed its higher than expected frst-quarter operating profts (more than 100 million USD) in part to strong sales in Cambodia as well as Vietnam and India.3 Alternatively, Angkor beer promotion workers in Cambodia are barely making enough money to get by.
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