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

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More