Draft Wage Law Still Outlaws Outside Research

The current draft of a proposed law for setting a national minimum wage still includes controversial provisions that would make it illegal to conduct wage-related research without government approval or to “provoke any objection” to the wage itself, according to the country’s largest independent trade union.

The government proposed the law last year to establish a standardized process for setting a minimum wage for those who don’t already have one and hosted a workshop on the draft on Thursday.

Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union, said the draft presented by the Labor Ministry at the event was essentially identical to the last one and still contained the two most controversial provisions, which several unions want removed or changed.

“They don’t plan to change this article,” he said.

Last month, a trio of labor rights groups released a joint statement claiming the provisions would violate Cambodians’ constitutional right to free speech.

The Labor Ministry, which has ignored previous requests to justify the provisions, could not be reached on Sunday for comment.

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