Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - GMAC calls for factories to shutter

Factory workers from Kong Hong Garment strike in Phnom Penh today.
Factory workers from Kong Hong Garment strike in Phnom Penh today. Vireak Mai

GMAC calls for factories to shutter

As workers protest in their thousands, the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) this morning strongly urged its member factories to close for the rest of this week, fearing strike-related violence.

“If the workers are working in the factories, some bad elements of the demonstrators will go around and destroy your factories gates and properties in order to force the workers out to join the demonstration to demand a wage of US$160,” reads a letter sent by email and obtained by the Post. “It is safer if there are no workers in the factories.”

Five labour unions called for a nationwide strike on Tuesday, hours after the Ministry of Labour announced that the minimum wage in Cambodia’s garment sector would rise next year from the current $80 – including a $5 health bonus – to $95, rather than the $160 workers want.

Factory workers from Kong Hong Garment strike in Phnom Penh today.
Factory workers from Kong Hong Garment strike in Phnom Penh today. Vireak Mai

Him Phalla, administrative manager of Huey Chuen (Cambodia) Corp. Ltd., said the Dangkor district factory allowed workers to go home after receiving GMAC’s email this morning.

“In order to avoid any problems … we allowed them to stay home,” Phalla said. “We’ve seen that some of the workers have broken property at other factories, so we fear that the same thing will happen to our factory.”

Upon hearing about the GMAC letter this morning, Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, encouraged workers to strike peacefully.

“We encourage workers to go on strike and also demand $160,” Thorn said this morning. “But we do not encourage workers to commit crime.”

Thorn said he had heard any reports of any strike-related property damage or violence.

Even if factories did not close, employees still would not show up to work, said Moeun Tola, head of the labour program at the Community Legal Education Centre. There is a lot of anger within the strikers’ ranks, he said.

“The movement now is out of control,” he said.

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama in Siem Reap

First lady of the United States talks girls education during trip to Cambodia.

Leang Seckon

Cambodian artist hits the big time

Phnom Penh based artist Leang Seckon's collage reflections on Khmer society are featuring at the prestigious Art Basel in Hong Kong.

She who tells the story

A diverse group of five female photographers and filmmakers told their stories at a Ruom Collective event to celebrate International Women's Day.