ETI urges buyers to push Cambodian factories for living wage

The Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) is calling on western buyers of Cambodian apparel and footwear goods to push suppliers toward paying a living wage to factory workers, saying the recent $2 hike to $194 does not enable a worker to meet their basic needs.

At the end of September, the Cambodian government increased the minimum wage for its textile, garment and footwear workers to $194 a month – a hike of $2 that is effective from January next year, which the ETI says is far below the amount unions had sought.

The annual wage review is a contentious issue; on the one hand, increases are encouraged by unions to help maintain the cost of living, but on the other resisted by trade associations and factory owners who want to keep costs competitive for brands.

The ETI says the current increase is well below the $204 wage that unions had sought, and even further from the $214 level that other campaigns were calling for.

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