The Labor Advisory Committee is expected to discuss stronger rules regarding factory working conditions at its meeting today.
The committee, with five representatives from manufacturing, five from labor unions and 10 from government agencies, meets periodically to review labor issues.
Huy Han Song, director of the health department of the Ministry of Labor, said the committee’s 24-member working group will discuss stricter standards for employers at today’s meeting.
For example, the government wants to set limits on the amount of weight a female worker can be asked to carry, with higher limits set for male workers. Other issues include requiring air-conditioning or fans in some workplaces, and proper circulation of air in workrooms.
Although a number of business interests are represented on the committee, garment manufacturing remains Cambodia’s single biggest industry, employing more than 100,000 workers.
Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh told Reuters that the value of Cambodian garment exports jumped 48 percent in 2000, boosted by a 9 percent increase in the quota for US exports. While Cambodia exported garments worth $650 million in 1999, that increased to $965 million in 2000, he said. An increasing percentage of those exports are going to European Union countries, he said.