Global brands urged to absorb cost increases of Cambodia minimum wage

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A woman irons fabric at a garments factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Photo: World Bank/Chhor Sokunthea

Global clothing brands have been urged by the United Nations to contribute to new minimum wage requirements for workers in Cambodia.

The new monthly pay of US$128 which came into effect on 1 January could increase the wage bills of garment and footwear factories by 18 per cent according to the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO)

The ILO said that global companies that source products in Cambodia should play a part in helping the industry to absorb the cost increases.

According to estimates, buyers would need to increase the prices they pay to Cambodian factories by up to 3 per cent.

This would add about 2 US cents to the price of a T-shirt that now costs 80 cents to produce.

The apparel industry in Cambodia employs around 350,000 people, mainly women and accounts for 85 per cent of the south-east Asian country’s exports.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 58”