Cambodian Garment Workers Strike

Published December 20th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Some 1,000 mainly female garment industry workers marched through the Cambodian capital Wednesday to protest working conditions at their Chinese-owned factory. 

Workers from the Flying Dragon (Cambodia) Garment Ltd. factory rallied outside the labor ministry after being turned away from parliament by police who had cordoned off the area as the house was in session. 

"At least five workers faint every day because of the heat in the factory and hard work," Hen Rany, a 23-year old worker, told AFP. 

"Those who refuse to work overtime are sacked," she added. 

Amongst their demands, the workers, who have been on strike since Monday, said they wanted to be paid on a commission per item of clothing made, as well as for overtime to be voluntary. 

The strike and rally were organized by the National Independent Federation Textile Union of Cambodia. 

Textiles, most of which are exported to the United States, are Cambodia's biggest foreign exchange earner. 

Low labor costs have attracted scores of Western clothiers to contract production here, including US retailer Gap, designer Ralph Lauren, Italian sports label Lotto and cigarette spin-off Camel Trophy. 

Government officials appear unwilling to intervene in the booming sector worth more than 600 million dollars a year -- PHNOM PENH (AFP)  

 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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