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20 Mar 2020

Davin Sen, Khmer Times

Cambodia: Unions claim employers fail to take preventive measures to protect workers from Covid-19 pandemic; factories association denies allegations

"GMAC refutes claims, insists employees’ safety is top priority", 20 March 2020

Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) ... denied the accusation that most factory employers have failed to implement preventive measures against the spread of the coronavirus.

This was in response to recent allegations made by the Cambodia Confederation of Union (CCU), who insisted factory workers are exposed to the threat of the global pandemic.

..., GMAC called the accusation “baseless”, adding safety and health of the workers have always been the number one priority in its business operating principal.

GMAC said this was evident in the establishment of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Committee, in compliance with Cambodia’s Labour Law, core international labour standards and requirements set by international buyers.

..., the CCU claimed most industrial employers failed to provide masks and alcohol-based hand sanitisers to their employees, and they did not take the latter’s temperatures before entering the workplace...

“The union urges employers to pay more attention to workers’ health and to ensure they keep their wages if they are not working for a while if the pandemic remains unfulfilled,” it said.

President of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers Pav Sina said some garment factory workers are also concerned about their wellbeing amidst the COVID-19 threat...

A factory worker who declined to be identified told ... the current environment at most factories makes it easy for a virus to spread. “Most of us are worried because there are thousands of people working at the same place. If one worker is a carrier, the virus can easily spread to others as well,” the worker said...