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27 Feb 2020

Sovuthy Khy, CamboJA

Cambodia: Some garment factories cancel overtime work amid uncertainty over impacts of EBA decision and the Covid-19

"Garment factories cut overtime hours for workers", 27 February 2020

Garment factory workers are seeing their working hours cut amid China’s coronavirus scare and the EU’s announcement that it will partially withdraw Cambodia’s trade privileges.

Factories have previously said that they are running out of raw materials imported from China due to coronavirus quarantine measures in place there, while the EU … announced it was suspending its “Everything But Arms” deal for several categories of products due to “serious and systematic” human rights violations in Cambodia…

Luy Eng, 40, a worker at Eastex Garment in Phnom Penh, said overtime was canceled at her factory since January. About 3,000 workers at the factory now must leave at 4 p.m., whereas they had previously earned more by staying on as late as 9 p.m., she said…

At Akeentex, a factory in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district, workers have been ordered to leave work at 3 p.m., said Yang Samean, 27.

“This factory does not stop workers from their work, but the factory has reduced work hours,” Samean said…

Preap Monysovann, secretary-general of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, said five factories where his union had members had begun to reduce their workforces…

Yang Sophorn, president of the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions (CATU), said her union members had reported that working hours were being reduced at two factories in Kampong Chhnang and Kampong Speu provinces…

Cambodia Footwear Association deputy secretary-general Nguon Chnnara said in a statement … that “suspending EBA benefits for Cambodian footwear products will result in large job losses across the industry ....”