The Southeast Asian kingdom’s Ministry of Social Affairs said it would hike the minimum wage to $75 a month from $61.
Cambodian factories also currently pay workers a mandatory $5 health allowance. The government has yet to announce whether to incorporate the health subsidy into the new minimum wage. Doing so would affect how overtime pay, a key salary component for many Cambodian garment workers, is calculated. The changes are slated to take place May 1.
According to Moeun Tola, head of the labor program at the Community Legal Education Centre, a local rights group, unions had entered tripartite negotiations with the government and the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia asking for an increase to $100.
The GMAC had originally offered an increase to $73, though it was reportedly prodded to raise wages by another $2 by the Cambodian Prime Minister, Hun Sen, who has spoken out in the past year about the need for garment factories in his country to solve problems such as mass faintings and reports of forced overtime labor.
GMAC officials were not available for comment.
“The unions are not happy with the decision and are appealing to the government to reconsider,” Tola said in a phone interview.
At least one union has already threatened mass demonstrations. Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, told local media Thursday that he was still insisting on an increase to $100 and would hold a strike if his demands were not met.
According to Tola, reports from Cambodia’s Ministry of Planning suggest that individuals living in Phnom Penh, the country’s capital and where much of the garment industry is situated, need to make at least $124 a month to sustain a living.
Cambodia is the latest in a series of Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia and Thailand, that have recently bumped their minimum wage levels. As recently as 2010, the minimum wage in Cambodia, which relies heavily on garment and footwear exports, was $50.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast