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30 Jan 2013

Striking garment factory workers in Cambodia

Throughout January 2013 garment factory workers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, camped out and protested in front of Kingsland factory (part of Gold Ocean) demanding payment of overdue wages and benefits.  According to the workers, in September 2012, they were told not to come into work due to lack of orders, but were assured they would be paid 50% of their salary until work resumed in January 2013.  Shortly thereafter, Kingsland owners declared bankruptcy and fled the country.  The protesters claimed they were owned $200,000 by the Hong-Kong based company that allegedly worked with Walmart and H&M suppliers. 

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the companies involved to respond to the following items:

- "Cambodian Garment Workers seek support from Walmart, H&M shoppers" [video], Paula Stromberg, 30 Jan 2013
- "The Plight of Cambodia's garment workers", Clothilde Le Coz, Asian Correspondent, 1 Feb 2013 

Company responses/non-responses:
H&M response [PDF]
- Walmart referred us to this Bloomberg article 

We attempted to invite Kingsland/Gold Ocean to respond, but were unable to find current contact information.

March 2013 update 
According to a recent article, on 1 March 2013 Walmart and H&M suppliers agreed to pay about $145,000 in back pay and severance to 160 Kingsland factory workers:

"Wal-Mart and H&M Suppliers Pay Workers at Closed Cambodian Plant", Renee Dudley, Bloomberg, 2 Mar 2013

Company Responses

Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) View Response
Walmart de México (part of Walmart) View Response