Cambodia's Labor Advisory Committee (LAC), a government-led tripartite group, has agreed the next minimum wage adjustment for garment workers will take effect on 1 January 2015.

According to Ken Loo, secretary general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), the LAC has only decided on the schedule of the increment and has not started to discuss the quantum of the increase.

"Over the next three months this will be discussed amongst the stakeholders. Eventually a decision will be made by October," he told just-style.

Cambodia's garment industry has seen two minimum wage increases in a nine-month period. Following a US$15 per month rise in the sector's minimum wage to $80 in May last year, the LAC revealed an increase to $95 per month in December.

The country's labour ministry then raised this to $100 per month in February.

But trade unions are calling for the government to increase the minimum wage for the country's 500,000 garment workers to $160 per month.

Last month, 25 garment workers and labour activists arrested after demonstrations in January, were freed by a court in Phnom Penh.

A study on working conditions and respect for worker rights at 371 garment and footwear factories noted a 5% rise in the number of strikes which took place between May 2013 and April 2014, compared to the same period of the prior year. 

The International Labour Organization's (ILO) Better Factories Cambodia's (BFC) 31st Synthesis Report found 24% of the factories monitored had strikes during the period, up from 19% in the year before. 

According to data from GMAC, Cambodia exported $1.17bn worth of garments and textiles between January and March this year, up 9% on $1.08bn in the same period of last year. The country exported $287.1m worth of garments and textiles in January, followed by $440.8m in February and $445.7m in March.