News / Asia

Major Brands Concerned About Cambodia Violence

So Nang, 27, a Cambodian garment worker, receives treatment at Preah Kosamak hospital in Phnom Penh, January 6, 2014.
So Nang, 27, a Cambodian garment worker, receives treatment at Preah Kosamak hospital in Phnom Penh, January 6, 2014.
VOA News
Major labels that have clothing manufactured in Cambodian factories have written an open letter expressing concern for the recent shootings of workers demonstrating for higher wages.

Adidas, Gap, H&M, Levi's and Puma were among those that signed the January 7 letter to the Phnom Penh government, manufacturers and union leaders.  The seven companies behind the letter said they account for 70 percent of garment orders from Cambodia.

“We strongly oppose all forms of violence,” the companies wrote in response to a shooting last week which killed five people and injured another 40.  “It is with great concern that we have observed both widespread civil unrest and the government’s use of deadly force.”

Workers have said they will continue their strike to demand a doubling of their minimum monthly pay to $160, which has been rejected by factory owners.

Ath Thun, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, said the letter was a “credible” form of pressure on the government and unions to negotiate for a pay raise for workers.  He also suggested that retailers sell their brands for higher prices so that factories can afford to pay more to workers.

“I think that this statement has a huge impact," Thun said. "If buyers express their disappointment and regret on the use of armed forces to kill or commit violence against workers, and urge the government to go back immediately to the negotiation table to peacefully solve this issue, it will be a strong pressure because the government and suppliers must act on this."

Ken Loo, secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, said Wednesday factories would consider complying with a wage increase if the government officially institutes one.

“The important thing is that we wait for the government.  If the government issues a new decision to say how much they want the minimum wage to go up to, manufacturers must follow because we abide by the law," said Loo.

On Tuesday, he said factories will move out of the country if strikes continue.

Meanwhile, human rights workers are calling for the release of 23 people detained in last week’s crackdown. Am Sam Arth, lead investigator for the rights group Licadho, said lawyers from the group are preparing a request to the court for the release of the detainees on bail.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Khmer service.

You May Like

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs