Apparel Firms Struggling with Wage Hike

Enterprises in the labor-intensive textile and garment sector are scrambling to find ways to cope with salary hike.  The sector has already felt the impact of the upcoming wage hike.   

Under budget 2016, the Malaysian government has announced to increase minimum wage to RM1,000 a month for the Peninsular and RM920 a month for workers in Sabah, Sarawak & Labuan covering all sectors except domestic maids effective 1 July 2016.

Cambodia raises clothing worker wage

Cambodia announced it will raise the minimum wage for clothing workers by 9.4% to $140 a month. When other benefits were calculated, the workers would be making an average of $157 to $168 monthly next year.

The new wages will take effect at the beginning of 2016. A $100 level was set for 2014 and $128 this year but tensions over wages remained high. The increase falls short of the $160 a month wage proposed by unions.

The clothing and footwear industry is Cambodiaís biggest export earner, employing about 700,000 people in more than 700 garment and shoe factories. In 2014, the country shipped more than $6 billion worth of products to the United States and Europe.

Vietnam : Forthcoming Wage Hike

The Vietnam National Wage Council agreed on a 12.4% increase in minimum wages for 2016. 


The region-based salaries are fixed. Upon Governmentís approval, the monthly minimum wages would be VND3.5 million or US$ 155 for region one (up VND400,000 or US$17.78), VND3.1 million (US$137.80) for region two (up VND350,000/US$15.56), VND2.7 million (US$120) for region three (up VND300,000 or US$13.33) and VND2.4 million for region four (up VND250,000 or US$11.11). 

Vietnam earned US$17.8 billion in textile and garment export revenue in January-August, up 10% year-on-year. The sector targets US$27.5-28 billion in export revenue this year.     

Myanmar Sets Daily Minimum Wage  

Myanmar sets a new minimum wage of 3,600 kyat ($2.80) for an eight-hour work day, effective Sept. 1. Thatís $67 a month, based on a six-day work week. The wage is for eight-hour days in a six-day week; it doesnít address overtime pay or working conditions.  

Last year Myanmar exported $1.5 billion of clothes and materials, up from $1.2 billion in 2013 and $947 million in 2012.

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