Minimum wage gained’t fix Cambodia’s construction quarter

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Currently, discussions approximately the working class’s rights and properly-being in Cambodia are focused on the minimum wage. In his speech on December 10, International Human Rights Day, Prime Minister Hun Sen emphasized that the authorities had “received a couple of requests from unions to set a minimum wage for workers inside the production region,” a reference to the fact that Cambodia most effective has a minimum wage in its garment area.

He also pressured that he changed into “searching for a minimum wage for the alternative sectors so that we know what workers in the nation are earning as well as to stop any exploitation of employees.”

Cambodia’s construction quarter

So Kin, president of the Building and Woodworkers Trade Union of Cambodia (BWTUC), welcomed the idea of setting a minimum salary for the construction quarter. “Construction people in addition to individuals [currently need to] negotiate wages with [they’re] employers similar to domestic employees,” he said, the Khmer Times mentioned on the same time as Hun Sen’s speech.

However, because the development area is especially informal, regulating the minimum salary to enhance the financial well-being of these workers is virtually now not sufficient. Instead, state-of-the-art guidelines are wished. Of comparable significance are upgraded in technical training and protection measures.

Most Cambodian production employees face hazardous running situations. Many of them, especially those operating on high-upward push homes, had been injured, and a few have even lost their lives. As operating conditions are casual and people pass throughout diverse websites, it’s miles hard to estimate the range of injuries or deadly injuries. In some instances, construction groups even conceal incidents and numbers of accidents; it’s far alleged. Of the 1,010 production people surveyed using the BWTUC in mid-2017, 196 had suffered accidents – or 19% of the sample pool.

Cambodia’s creation enterprise is booming currently and will remain a critical part of u . S. A .’s economic development. In general, there are an estimated 250,000 construction people, more than a few this is set to increase. Although the labor situations within the area aren’t any higher than in other sectors, especially because employers do not pay an awful lot of interest to protection-consciousness measures, it remains doubtful how they may be to improve.

One hassle is that as the development quarter booms at the same time, it saw a 20% decline in capital funding in 2018, consistent with the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction’s annual record. This might also imply less cash to be had for protection courses or spent on making sure safety measures.

Leng Tong, director of the branch in the price of fitness and protection at the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training (MLVT), said closing yr that creation-web page proprietors were asked to open schooling courses for his or her people on the place of job safety to reduce the variety of injuries. “The authorities are set to draft some of laws and regulations aimed toward reducing the wide variety of injuries,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Dr. Han Nopakun, deputy director of the Department of Occupational Safety and Health on the MLVT, said in December that the government becomes drafting Prakas (respectable policies) that blanketed regulations excessive-upward thrust construction workers, creation equipment safety, a refuge for employees, and social services. This seems to be a far-wanted start toward imparting national protection requirements for creative workers. However, it stays uncertain while and the way these Prakas may be enacted and applied.

Moreover, international cooperation could enhance situations as properly. The Labor Ministry announced that Japan might assist governmental efforts to grow the know-how of production people in Cambodia. According to statements made by using Labor Minister Ith Samheng in February, “extra than 9,000 Cambodian laborers are currently in Japan, and we hope that determine will double within the subsequent years. Their creation businesses conventional greater than 300 Cambodian workers for construction work in Japan.”

He additionally highlighted that “Cambodian people might be professional for the work in the production enterprise after [on-the-job] getting to know in Japan; afterward, they’ll use their abilties to expand the development sector in Cambodia.”

Such cooperation with the Japanese government can provide a great model for supplying education and protection measures to people in sectors with low productivity. This would possibly even avoid a chasm growing among extremely well-skilled employees who are educated abroad and people people who do no longer have a hazard emigrate for paintings, at the same time as at the identical time likely decreasing the numbers of injuries suffered for the duration of working hours due to the dearth of training and safety measures.

Another feature the authorities ought to do not forget is the creation of people into the National Social Security Fund, a national coverage scheme. The deputy director of the NSSF, Sum Sophorn, stated in May 2018 about creation workers: “We inspire employers to register for the NSSF at the Ministry of Labor. So ways over 500 companies have registered.” He delivered that “they will get free treatment at a health center if employees acquire the NSSF card and enterprise owners check in them, although they do not have operating contracts.”

Assuming that the government encourages only employers to sign in their employees for the NSSF, it could now not training session as thought. Instead, the authorities wish to put in force a sub-degree to include creation workers into the NSSF. In fact, about ninety% of construction people are ignorant of the NSSF, keeping with a survey performed in 2017. Because people who come across serious accidents aren’t able to have enough money for the medical fees on their very own, their employers ought to quick or educate them about the NSSF before they start to work at the site.