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

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group