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27 Jan 2021

Cambodia: 906 garment workers owed wages after Hong Sen factory closure to receive financial support after NEXT makes charitable contribution

In September 2020, workers at Hong Sen Textile factory in Cambodia joined protests over unpaid wages after the factory suspended operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The factory owner reportedly fled, leaving Hong Sen's 906 workers owed between US$200 and US$250 in unpaid wages each. After intervention by the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, each worker received US$150 from the proceeds of a factory equipment auction which partially covered the outstanding wages owed. Hong Sen is named publicly as producing for NEXT.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited NEXT to respond. NEXT said: "We have worked with representatives of the workers and NGOs, including BHRRC to find ways to help and support the workers during this period. This was an exceptional situation and NEXT was able to provide support from its charitable resources to contribute to this collective work that took place to provide support for the workers." The full response is included below.

The Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights (CENTRAL) in Cambodia said it has been working with NEXT and confirmed distribution of funds to the affected workers will commence in February 2021.