Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Report says global economic crisis led to factory closings

Report says global economic crisis led to factory closings

Report says global economic crisis led to factory closings

The Ministry of Labour report says laid-off employees will be able to find work; unions claim ex-workers are pushed into sex industry.

OUT WITH THE OLD...

The report presented Tuesday by the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training also found that 236 new garment and footwear factories opened between 2004 and 2008, creating jobs for approximately 62,000 employees. 

MOST garment factories that shut down in 2008 did so because of the global economic crisis, which resulted in a rapid decrease in purchase orders from key markets, according to a report completed last week by the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training.

The report, presented Tuesday at a seminar in Phnom Penh, states that 207 "garment and footwear enterprises" employing 75,000 workers closed down between 2004 and 2008.

Although the report does not specify how many closed in 2008, it points to a sharp drop in purchase orders from the United States and the European Union as a principal factor that pushed factories into bankruptcy.

Chea Mony, president of the Free Trade Union of the Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, told the Post Tuesday that 30 garment and footwear factories employing 27,000 workers closed in 2008.

Options for the unemployed

The report states that many of those who lost their jobs are "skilful employees" who have applied for new jobs at factories in Phnom Penh.

Others have opted to return to their home provinces, it states.

But Chea Mony said some unemployed workers were reluctant to leave the capital and had taken jobs in karaoke bars and beer halls.

Dr Vichet Lok, executive director of the NGO Cambodia Health Education Development, which works with garment factory workers in Phnom Penh, said a rising number of unemployed workers were considering indirect sex work, which would expose them to diseases including HIV/Aids.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government denies claims former Thai PM Yingluck issued Cambodian passport

    Government officials on Thursday denied claims that a Cambodian passport was issued to former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who reportedly used it to register a company in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong-based English language South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Wednesday reported Hong Kong

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as

  • Hun Sen warns Irish MP of EBA ‘mistake’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday told former Irish premier Enda Kenny, still a member of the EU nation’s parliament, that the 28-nation bloc should not make a “third mistake” regarding Cambodia by using the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement to “take 16 million

  • US senators call for GSP trade privilege cut

    Two US senators on Wednesday introduced the Cambodian Trade Act of 2019 bill, requiring the administration to re-examine Cambodia’s eligibility to access the preferential trade treatment granted by the US under the General System of Preferences (GSP). A Cambodian government spokesman said the move was