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26 Apr 2020

Khmer Times

Cambodia: ILO & key stakeholders launch 'Action in the Global Garment Industry' plan to provide a coordinated response to the Covid-19 pandemic affecting 500,000 workers

"ILO elaborates on action plan to combat Covid-19 pandemic’s impact, Cambodia wait with breath held", 25 April 2020

Action in the Global Garment Industry plan was launched, providing a coordinated response to the current crisis through which urgent financial relief is to be made available to vulnerable garment factories and workers.

In Cambodia, hundreds of garment factories with an approximate 500,000 workers are at risk of closure or suspension because of cancellation of orders or failure by buyers to honour the contracts take delivery or make payments.

The net impact of all these is that up to 500,000 workers may be out of jobs, income and end up in a vicious cycle from which it would be impossible to mitigate. The garment industry in Cambodia is the biggest employer with almost a million workers in direct employment and with downstream industries...

Led by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), International Organisation of Employees (IOE), International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and other likeminded NGOs, the ambitious strategy has been endorsed by leading brands and retailers, and will set the tone for future workings in which social security infrastructure is to be drastically bolstered...

An agreement on the wording of the plan came after fraught discussions involving some stakeholders who’d found it difficult to agree on the language used in the statement, so that the initiative could move forward. Still, a number of key stakeholders have thrown down the gauntlet by endorsing the plan as it’s rolled out, including Primark, H&M, Inditex, C&A, Adidas and VF Corp.

... Given the scale of the task at hand, those leading this initiative admit the logistical intricacies of how funding will be apportioned still need work...