Briefs: Candlelight Backs $300 Wage, City Offers Pchum Ben Buses

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Workers leave a garment factory at the end of their shift in Cambodia in 2016. (Marcel Crozet/ILO/Creative Commons)

The Candlelight Party says it is backing unions’ requests for an increase in the garment-sector minimum wage rise and pushing for it to rise to $300 per month in two years.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the opposition party — formerly the Sam Rainsy Party — said it backed unions’ call for an increase from $194 to $215 this year.

Unions, garment factories and the Labor Ministry are in the midst of annual minimum-wage negotiations, with a meeting scheduled for Wednesday. The minimum wage applies to workers in the country’s garments, footwear and travel goods factories.

“The Candlelight Party sees that a minimum wage of $215 will help workers in part, even though this increase is still limited and wouldn’t meet the living cost of the workers for their food, transportation and accommodation costs, which are higher than neighboring countries,” the statement says.

The Candlelight Party said the government should negotiate with factory owners to set the minimum wage at $300 dollars in 2024.

Labor groups have been calling for far higher salaries for Cambodian workers — including a push for a “living wage” of $588 per month — but employers say the Cambodian minimum wage is already higher than neighboring countries’.

— Keat Soriththeavy

Holiday Bus Services

Phnom Penh City Hall is making more than 100 city buses available for travel to the provinces during the upcoming Pchum Ben holidays from September 23-27.

In a statement issued Monday, City Hall said the buses would be provided free of charge at 5:30 a.m. from five locations around the capital:

  • Century Plaza.
  • Russei Keo park.
  • The mermaid roundabout in Chroy Changva.
  • The Phnom Penh railway station.
  • Hun Sen Blvd. in front of the Mercedes-Benz dealership.

The buses would head to 18 provincial capitals, City Hall said in its statement.

Though they are open to all, the city said it hoped the service would help factory workers and students avoid high costs.

— Keat Soriththeavy

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