Plans for National Minimum Wage Moves Ahead

The government wants to pass a law for setting a national minimum wage this year and will hold a public forum to gather feedback before putting it to a vote, Labor Minister Ith Sam Heng said on Wednesday at the ministry’s annual meeting in Phnom Penh.

He did not set a date for the forum.

“This law will be very useful by ensuring a mechanism for resolving an annual minimum wage for our workers,” he said.

The garment industry, which employs about 700,000 people, currently has the only private sector workforce with a minimum wage.

While unions welcome the broader law, they object to provisions that would fine anyone who promotes opposition to the wage or carries out research on wage issues without government approval.

“If they do not remove these two points, I think this law will have no benefit for workers,” said Ath Thorn, who heads the country’s largest independent union.

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