Minimum Wage Increased $2 Amid Industry Requests to Lower Salaries

The garment sector’s minimum wage will be increased to $192 starting next year, even as hundreds of factories have suspended operations and an estimated 150,000 workers lost their jobs.

The Labor Ministry announced the increase on Thursday, saying negotiations between the ministry, industry and unions led to an unchanged minimum wage of $190, and Prime Minister Hun Sen had “added” $2 on top — what amounts to an annual “gift” from the government.

Cambodian Labor Confederation president Ath Thorn said unions had pushed for a $12.35 increase, or 6.5 percent; employers sought a decrease of $17.39, about 9.2 percent; and the government suggested a $5 drop.

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