Cambodian workers vow to push ahead with strike
Cambodian protesters continue their strike despite the Ministry of Labor’s announcement to increase the minimum monthly wage of garment industry workers by February 2014.
The president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, Rong Chhun, said on Tuesday that the governement move has not satisfied the striking workers who demanded their minimum monthly wage of USD 80 to be doubled. He also vowed to push ahead with protests until the workers’ demands are met.
Meanwhile, the Cambodian Ministry of Labor has urged striking protesters to return to their works, threatening to take serious measures against the organizers of the strike.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) issued a statement on Tuesday and called upon both sides to work out the current dispute.
“Resolving the current situation will require support from all stakeholders, workers, trade unions, government and business and its representatives,” the statement said. “The ILO urges all of these actors to maximize efforts to find a resolution to the situation.”
The ministry’s decision to increase the minimum wage for garment and shoe workers from 80 US dollars to 100 US dollars per month for 2014 came shortly after tens of thousands of garment industry workers, backed by the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, took to the streets of the capital of Phnom Penh last week to push the government to improve working conditions.
More than one third of factories have closed because of the strike. The condition has greatly affected the garment industry, the country’s largest industrial sector with more than 5 billion US dollars in annual exports and 400,000 jobs.