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21 Jul 2021

Lay Sopheavotey, Cambodianess

Cambodia: Report from labour rights group and unions claims that workers lose $109m during lockdown; unions demand brands' intervention in providing help to affected workers

"Unions Demand Global Brands Help Workers Losing Income during Lockdown", 21 July 2021

Workers’ unions and civil society groups called on well-known fashion brands to do more to help Cambodian workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This came after a new report stated that Cambodian garment sector workers had lost millions in wages during the lockdown ...

More than 780,000 workers in Cambodia's garment and footwear sector lost $109 million in wages during the lockdown in Phnom Penh and Kandal Province, according to a … report published by the Cambodian Trade Unions and the Clean Clothes Campaign, which surveyed 114 factories supplying to global brands such as Adidas, VF, Target, H&M, Puma, Levi Strauss and Nike.

“The figure is based on an assessment of 114 factories by the Confederation of Trade Unions,” the report read. “If including wages and other allowances, during the 13 months of the COVID-19 outbreak, garment workers in Cambodia are estimated to have lost more than $393 million.”…

Ath Thun, President of the Cambodian Labor Union, said that garment workers in Cambodia lost these wages due to salary cuts, suspension of work and dismissals, but he added that the unions will try to hold brands to account.

“This huge loss of income is due to the rising poverty and increasing difficulties of workers,” said Thun. “Global brands’ owners should have obligations to help or provide financial benefits during lockdown or when workers are in trouble because they have benefited from the labor force and been able to make their products well-known around the world for many years.”

… Kaing Monica, deputy secretary general of the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia declined to comment…