Cambodia Gov’t warns trade unions of illegal strikes

The Cambodian Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training on December 25 stated that any activities made by trade unions against the 2014 minimum salary of 95 USD are against the law.
According to the ministry’s statement, the raise showed the efforts of the Government and trade unions in promoting the livelihoods of workers, while ensuring the competitiveness of the investment climate.

The ministry also called on all trade unions to stop their illegal activities in inciting protests and strikes.

One day earlier, the country’s Labour Council agreed to raise the monthly salaries of footwear and garment workers from the current 80 USD to 95 USD in 2014 and to 160 USD in 2018.

However, pro-opposition’s trade unions demanded the government and factory owners to double the salary for workers from 2014.

An estimated 3,000 garment workers from various factories rallied at Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park to protest against the low salary increase for 2014.

Sam Rainsy, president of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), joined thousands of striking workers at the Manhattan Special Economic Zone in eastern Svay Rieng province.

The garment industry is Cambodia’s largest foreign currency earner, accounting for about 80 percent of the country’s overall exports. The sector comprises about 500 factories with some 510, 600 workers.

The country exported 5 billion USD worth of garment products in the first 11 months of this year, up 22 percent year-on-year.-VNA

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