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Cambodian Committee Misses Deadline for Wage Negotiations

Cambodia’s garment workers will have to wait a little longer to hear what their monthly minimum wage will be in 2016.

The Labor Advisory Committee (LAC) on Monday missed its provisional deadline to decide how much to hike the sector’s $128-a-month pay, as employer and trade union representatives continued to disagree on a number to present to the Labor Ministry.

According to The Cambodia Daily, the tripartite negotiations are ongoing.

Most of the unions—representing more than 700,000 garment workers in the Southeast Asian nation—held fast to the $168 figure they proposed on Friday, after weeks of demands ranging from $158 to $178.

Factory owners, meanwhile, increased their suggestion by 0.25% to propose a 3.75% wage increase, citing the National Social Security Fund’s increasing costs, but union leaders were not pleased.

Though LAC missed the Oct. 5 deadline set by Labor Minister Ith Sam Heng, ministry spokesman Heng Sour said the government did not force a decision in the hope that the employers’ and unions’ interests would more closely align.

Textile and garment manufacturing accounts for around 80 percent of Cambodia’s exports and is worth more than $5 billion annually. The country’s factories supply apparel to the likes of H&M, Inditex, Primark, C&A and Topshop.