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 China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid