Garment Strike in Phnom Penh Reaches Critical Mass

Will Adidas, Gap, and Puma Pay Workers A Living Wage?

, by Truthout

On Monday, following a wave of strikes across Asia, around 60,000 textile workers in Phnom Penh walked off factory lines, protesting pay that stands at around half the living wage. By Wednesday, according to Kong Athit, Secretary General of the Cambodian Labour Confederation, the number of strikers had swelled to over three times that. By some estimates, around two thirds of the 297,000 garment workers and 48,000 athletic-shoe makers refused to work in protest of low wages. (The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), the organization that sets the minimum wage, has also seen an increase in protesters, but suggests a smaller number.) As protests hit a flashpoint Thursday, unions and government quickly agreed to renegotiate wages. A meeting will take place September 27. Read more

Also check Amnesty International’s global campaign of support for Cambodian labour leaders threatened with retaliatory prosecution.