Cambodia increases garment industry minimum wage 28 percent, but short of workers' demand

Cambodia is raising the minimum wage in its important clothing industry by 28 percent to $128 a month, falling short of labor unions' $140 proposal.

The Labor Advisory Committee, representing employers, workers and the government, originally agreed Wednesday on a $123 minimum wage. A Labor Ministry statement said it was increased to $128 after long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen intervened.

A militant union campaign to double the then-minimum of $80 two years ago resulted in clashes with police. The unions later scaled back their demand.

The clothing industry is Cambodia's biggest export earner, employing about 500,000 people in more than 500 garment and shoe factories. The new wage level takes effect at the beginning of next year.