I wouldn't expect you to take a job here. But someone from Kampong Thom who is working in Phnom Penh for $2.50 a day in a garment factory, or cafe, or building site might appreciate a job that pays as well or better a little closer to home.horace wrote:and they say garment workers are underpaid1 that's slave labour wages to me.
Since taking over the management from a Khmer 'accountant', I have increased salaries across the board. There were staff there who were very good workers, but due to them being women were stuck on $50 a month for two years. The same staff are now earning between $70 and $95 with prospects to move into supervisory roles where they should be earning $120 plus travel allowances.
We had two gardeners dithering around for 8 hours a day making $50 a month. I'm now looking for one person who can do the job with some passion and interest who should make more than double what the previous salary was if they show some aptitude.
I had another young guy, also stuck on $50 a month for more than a year. I put him up to $60 when I arrived and later asked him what he wanted to do in his life. He said hotel management. He didn't have a clue, so I paid for his English classes, upped his salary again and moved him to the kitchen from house keeping to broaden his work experience with the plan to move him to front house when his English was good enough. His English never improved, as he gave his free classes to his brother. He ended up trying out for a job in a local hotel restaurant as a cook. He got the job because of what he learned in our kitchen. $100 a month to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner, 6 days a week. Starts about 6am finishes 9pm, with a couple of hours off during the day.
A waiter working at a large local hotel told my wife he makes $45 a month for a 12 hour split shift 6 days a week. I hope to God that is just his starting rate. An Aussie guy who was out here last week, who works in provincial development told me that the average yearly income for a lot of the villagers in this province is about $250. That's why they head to Phnom Penh garment factories and hostess bars, or Kampong Cham rubber plantations.
When I first got to Phnom Penh a couple of years ago, I would go and drink coffee in a local cafe. I went there with a Khmer friend one day and got her to ask one of the staff how much she earned and where she lived. Turns out she was from Vietnam (though she looked Khmer), she didn't have a passport and she made $40 a month. Worked 7 days a week from 6 or 7 in the morning till about 10pm. Shared a dorm room across the street with the other staff.
That said. It is a crying shame for me that I pay salaries like this. I'd love to pay double or triple.
I'm sure you know all this already, what do you suggest I do to improve the situation even more? Fire half the staff and put the remaining 10 staff on $250 each a month with no time off?
It does my head in thinking about this subject. I'm an idealist. I'm one of those people who thinks it is unjust to pay low wages, but this is my job, and I am restricted in what I can pay. Anyone here with a more experienced head than mine on their shoulders got any insight?