Cambodia: Stop government violence against workers

Cambodia: Stop government violence against workers

9 January 2014
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A LabourStart campaign in Partnership with IndustriALL, UNI Global Union, the International Trade Union Confederation, the Cambodia Labour Confederation, and Workers United.

This campaign is in solidarity with Cambodian garment workers and unions, who initiated a general strike seeking an increase in minimum wage from US$80 per month to US$160. The strike was very effective, with many thousands of workers participating, and the employers association (GMAC) called a lockout and urged the government to crack down on the workers. On January 3, 2014, the government sent military police to attack a demonstration at one of the struck factories, and they opened fire on the demonstration with AK-47 rifles and killed five workers and seriously injured dozens more. The government has since banned all demonstrations and used military force to clear the streets. At least 39 workers have been detained and are held in unknown locations. Faced with this brutal repression, the unions have called off the strike and workers are returning to work, although they are continuing to press their demands.

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The Letter

I support the trade unions in Cambodia which are asking that the government stop the violence, restore freedom of association and assembly, release the detained workers and drop any charges against them, and resume negotiations for an increase in the minimum wage. They are also asking that the global brands that produce garments in Cambodia - Gap, H&M, Inditex, Adidas, Puma, Walmart, C&A and others - condemn the violence, and only send new orders to Cambodia when workers rights are restored and negotiations on the minimum wage resume.