Voices on The Street
Phon, Meat, Vegetable and Grocery Seller
I don’t think that the increase in minimum wage improves workers’ lives. The price of everything is increasing even more than their salary does. The price of meat, vegetable and groceries are up and they have to save and spend less on food which is not good for their health. Some of them are not even able to send money home and they have to borrow their friends money to pay their daily expenses plus the price of house, electricity and water gets higher when workers get more wages.
Lo Koon Piu, General Manager of Wing Ying (Cambodia) Garment Factory Ltd.
This new minimum wage is reasonable. As a general manager of a factory, I am glad to see that workers can earn more. However, the factory won’t make more profit with buyers because whether we pay workers US$60 or US$80, buyers still pay the same price to us. Also, unions always demand more benefits: meals, milk etc. It is not just about the wage increases. As a representative of workers and owners, I am happy if workers can earn more and the owner also makes more profits. Workers should work harder with the almost 30% increase. They should help owners to earn more profits.
H.E. Sat Samoth,Under Secretary of State in the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training
The minimum wage was discussed many times. We didn’t just set it as an estimation. To set the minimum wage, we checked our economy, technicality, progress in society, reality and lives of workers these days. I think that it is appropriate with the current minimum wage due to the current economy of the market. The minimum wage will increase; it won’t stay still. However, the minimum wage should not be discussed all the time; it has a duration when we should talk about it again. If you want to demand higher wages, you should talk about demand for benefits to increase their actual wage, not minimum wage. An about US$20 increase is an unprecedented increase. The last increase was an increase of US$5. With government and relevant stakeholders’ attention to this issue, I think the minimum wage is now appropriate.
Chenda, Garment Worker
The increase in the minimum wage is really good for us as workers, but the inflation makes us suffer. When we get a higher salary the price of rent, electricity, water and everything else also rises. If they increase the minimum wage to US$150 per month, it will help us a lot because we can live better and spend wisely on food and everything. Some workers are choosing to work abroad because other countries pay them way better than here.