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Garment

Workers Strikes BY AVA GROARKE

in Cambodia
(2014)
Some facts about
Cambodia
• Cambodia is located in Asia, bordering Vietnam,
Laos and Thailand.
•They have a population of 16 million (as of 2017).
•The currency of Cambodia is the Cambodian Riel.
•Cambodia's capital city is Phnom Penh.
•The predominant religion is Buddhism.
•The official language is Khmer.
The Garment Industry in Cambodia
• The garment industry employees 86% of
the 982,203 of all industry workers in Cambodia.
• 65% of all factories in the manufacturing industry
are used for textiles.
• About 40% of Cambodia's GDP comes from the
Garment industry.
• Clothing and shoes accounts for 95% of all of
Cambodia's exports.
The Conditions Of
These Factories
• Many of these factories are not owned by
Cambodians, in fact 90% of all garment factories in
Cambodia are not owned by Cambodians. Most of
the owners are Chinese, Taiwanese, Malaysian or
South Korean. Therefore very little of the money
earned comes back into Cambodian.
• The minimum wage of the workers in these
factories is just $100 a month. (About $3.50 a day).
• Many people in the industry work six days a week.
On top of that, many workers do overtime to at
least earn a living wage.
Conditions of Factories
(Cont.)
• The factories are often jam packed with people. This makes the
factories very hot and there is an abundance of toxic fumes in the
air. Matched with poor ventilation in the factories and hot
summers. Fainting during the work day is not uncommon.
• Many of the workers are also malnourished. A small meal that
consists of rice, vegetables and a small bit of meat costs about
$2.50 - $3. This is almost the entirety of their daily wage.
• Dangerous machinery is also a problem. The number of
accidents per month is hard to tell as the factories will not
release these figures. But many workers do not receive any sort
of insurance and the low wage suggest many cannot afford
proper treatment.
Workers strike for living
wage
• It is estimated that 100,000 – 500,000 went on strike for a
better wage.
•The main goal of the protest was to raise minimum wage to
$160 a month, which would give the workers enough money
to live on as well as a bit extra for savings etc.
• At the time, this was double the minimum wage so the
Cambodian government did not want to make it much higher
and therefore made a lower offer but the Cambodian
workers refused to take it and continued their strike.
Aftermath of the Strike
•On the 3rd of January 2014, a few days into the protest, tensions began
to rise. The protest blocked one of the main roads into Phnom Penh.
The government sent the army to break up the strike. When the workers
were confronted by the soldiers, they began to throw stones.
• In retaliation, the soldiers fired live ammunition, killing 4 people and
wounding many other. Some protestors were arrested and detained for
a number of days.
• The factories lost $200,00 - $300,00 each day the workers were on
strike.
• Workers were sent back to the factories they worked at and all public
gatherings were banned for that weekend.
• No change was made to the minimum wage.

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