Survey Says Garment Workers Earn $191 Monthly

A new survey of what the country’s 700,000 garment workers earn and spend in a typical month has concluded that the median take-home pay of a garment factory employee is $191, higher than the minimum wage, but lower than what employers have claimed.

Commissioned by labor rights groups to help unions in their coming negotiations with factories over a new minimum wage for the garment sector, now set at $128, DC Research surveyed 745 garment workers across the country.

In a report on its findings released Friday, the research firm said the median included the minimum wage, overtime, seniority pay, bonuses and allowances for food and transport, and money earned from any side business.

Last year, the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia said the $128 minimum wage would push average take-home pay as high as $250.

At the time, when the minimum wage was still $100, the International Labor Organization said take-home pay averaged about $165 for line workers, who make up the majority of garment factory employees.

The median monthly expenditure of the workers in DC Research’s study was $207.50. Minimum wage negotiations between the unions, employers and government are scheduled to begin on Wednesday.

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