Cambodia’s 400 garment factories shut down

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Garment workers confront police officers during a protest in front of a factory in Kampong Speu provinceThe Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) on December 29 said all of the country’s 400-plus garment factories will remain closed until the government and striking trade unions can guarantee the safety of the factories and all employees who want to work, the Cambodia Daily reported.

The decision will effectively halt the country’s largest export industry, which generated a critical $5 billion in revenue during the first 11 months of 2013.

Dissatisfied with a $15 raise in the monthly minimum wage to $95, which the government approved for all garment workers last week, some unions have stepped up their strikes and protests, demanding a doubling of their wages to $160. One protest on the outskirts of Phnom Penh turned violent on December 27 when workers clashed with police.

GMAC asks labour unions and the Labour Ministry to protect factory property and to guarantee the safety of workers who want to work.

“When these conditions are met, we would be happy to receive the invitation for GMAC members to resume operations and only then will we be able to participate in discussions on matters going forward,” GMAC says.

Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Suor said the ministry would meet once again with union leaders today to negotiate an end to the strikes and explain why an increase to $160 is “just not possible”.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

The Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) on December 29 said all of the country’s 400-plus garment factories will remain closed until the government and striking trade unions can guarantee the safety of the factories and all employees who want to work, the Cambodia Daily reported.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Garment workers confront police officers during a protest in front of a factory in Kampong Speu provinceThe Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) on December 29 said all of the country’s 400-plus garment factories will remain closed until the government and striking trade unions can guarantee the safety of the factories and all employees who want to work, the Cambodia Daily reported.

The decision will effectively halt the country’s largest export industry, which generated a critical $5 billion in revenue during the first 11 months of 2013.

Dissatisfied with a $15 raise in the monthly minimum wage to $95, which the government approved for all garment workers last week, some unions have stepped up their strikes and protests, demanding a doubling of their wages to $160. One protest on the outskirts of Phnom Penh turned violent on December 27 when workers clashed with police.

GMAC asks labour unions and the Labour Ministry to protect factory property and to guarantee the safety of workers who want to work.

“When these conditions are met, we would be happy to receive the invitation for GMAC members to resume operations and only then will we be able to participate in discussions on matters going forward,” GMAC says.

Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Suor said the ministry would meet once again with union leaders today to negotiate an end to the strikes and explain why an increase to $160 is “just not possible”.

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