SINGAPORE — Following threats by garment industry unions to hold a mega strike next month, the Cambodian government has agreed to raise wages and increase cost of living allowances, regional media reported Wednesday.
From Sept. 1, workers will see their monthly wages rise to at least $73, up from the current $66, according to the reports. As recently as 2009, the minimum wage was set at about $50.
According to Mouen Tola, head of the labor program at the Community Legal Education Center, a rights group, unions had initially requested a $20 increase.
"This is the first time the government [has held] discussions on a wage increase," said Tola in a phone interview. Industry observers have suggested the government's involvement was due to a flurry of occasionally violent strikes over the past two years that has afflicted Cambodia's garment manufacturing industry, the country's largest foreign exchange earner.
A representative of the Southeast Asian kingdom's Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. Multiple attempts to reach Ken Loo, secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, were unsuccessful.
In April, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen called on unions and garment manufacturers to "improve the atmosphere in the garment sector," the Phnom Penh Post reported.
Salaries in many Southeast Asian nations have been increasing rapidly over the past two years. Three years ago, Vietnamese workers outside Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City made as little as $31 a month. The monthly minimum wage has since been hiked to about $40, while workers in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City make upwards of $95. A proposal for a new minimum wage law was reportedly submitted to Myanmar's parliament last week.
“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