News / Asia

Striking Workers Clash With Colleagues at Cambodian Garment Factory

Garment workers push against the gates of a factory owned by Sabrina Garment Manufacturing during their protest in Kampong Speu province, west of the capital Phnom Penh, Cambodia, June 3, 2013.Garment workers push against the gates of a factory owned by Sabrina Garment Manufacturing during their protest in Kampong Speu province, west of the capital Phnom Penh, Cambodia, June 3, 2013.
x
Garment workers push against the gates of a factory owned by Sabrina Garment Manufacturing during their protest in Kampong Speu province, west of the capital Phnom Penh, Cambodia, June 3, 2013.
Garment workers push against the gates of a factory owned by Sabrina Garment Manufacturing during their protest in Kampong Speu province, west of the capital Phnom Penh, Cambodia, June 3, 2013.
Reuters
About 4,000 striking workers on Monday forced their way into a factory in Cambodia that makes clothing for U.S. sportswear company Nike and clashed briefly with colleagues who had remained on the job before being dispersed by police.

Police said at least 11 policemen and eight workers were injured.

The confrontation at the Sabrina factory followed a series of deadly incidents at factories in Bangladesh, the world's biggest clothing exporter after China, including the collapse of a building in April that killed more than 1,000 people.

Witnesses said many of the workers pressing for a wage increase at the Sabrina plant west of Phnom Penh were armed with sticks and rocks and smashed windows before being confronted by non-strikers.

Violent confrontation

About 1,000 police and soldiers used batons and shields to separate the sides and disperse the strikers.

“We had to break them up in order to protect the whole factory from destruction,” Kheng Tito, a national military police spokesman, told Reuters.

Sao Sreytouch, a striking worker, said she was confronted by other workers with sticks and steel pipes upon entering the factory, where workers walked out on May 21.

Sun Vanny, president of the Free Trade Union [FTU] at Sabrina, accused police and factory owners of colluding “to cause chaos” and force an end to the strike.

Hong Luy, chief of administration for Sabrina [Cambodia] Garment Manufacturing said last week that the company could not afford to raise workers' pay, which stood at the equivalent of up to $102 a month.

Compensation is key issue

A spokeswoman for Nike told Reuters last week that compensation at the Cambodian factory was the responsibility of the factory, but that Nike was in “close contact” with the factory and would “continue to monitor the situation”.

“It is our understanding that this factory raised its own minimum wage on May 1 and pays above the country's minimum wage,” Nike spokeswoman Mary Remuzzi told Reuters by e-mail last week.

The sportswear giant has five factories in Cambodia, representing just 0.6 percent of its global total.

The deadly incidents in Bangladesh and other mishaps, including a collapse at a factory in central Cambodia that killed two people, have generated renewed global interest in safety standards.

Many Western brands, attracted by cheap labor, have turned to Asia to have garments made at a cost that will make them attractive to bargain hunters in Europe and North America.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid