World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Global Union Bodies Demand Justice for Cambodian Workers

International Trade Union Confederation
ITUC Online

Brussels, 6 January 2014 (ITUC OnLine): The ITUC , Global Union Federation IndustriALL and UNI Global Union have expressed horror at the violent repression of garment worker strikes by security forces and government-backed vigilantes. Workers had been demonstrating peacefully demanding an increase in the minimum wage. At least four workers were killed and 39 injured during a crackdown by security forces on Friday. Trade unionists and labour rights supporters have been targeted for attack as workers demanded a minimum wage above the government offer of US$100 per month, which is woefully insufficient to meet the rising cost of living. Over 23 have been arrested, their whereabouts unknown, and summonses have been issued for several union leaders.

“Cambodia’s government must return to the negotiating table and agree to a fair wage for garment workers and cease the dictatorial repression of legitimate strike action by workers. It should immediately release all those detained, and ensure that those responsible for the killings and violence are brought to justice,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.

Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of IndustriALL, said “The right to strike for a higher minimum wage is solidly protected by the international right to freedom of association, enshrined in ILO Convention 87 – which Cambodia ratified in 1999. The threats, arrests, and the killing of trade unionists for the exercise of that right is an extremely grave violation and must be condemned. Any encouragement of that violence by garment manufacturers must end. ”

UNI Global Union’s General Secretary Philip Jennings said, “In Bangladesh we've witnessed how the race to the bottom in the garment sector has led to death and destruction. The Cambodian garment workers are also in jeopardy. This current wave of protests is the legitimate reaction of those workers who deserve a fair wage and decent conditions and must not be silenced by violence. “ Jennings added, “The global brands with connections to these Cambodian factories have a responsibility to raise standards. We've seen with the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord that a sea-change is possible.”

Cambodian unions are seeking a minimum monthly wage of up to US$ 160. Factory owners have responded by offering “no-strike” bonuses and wage adjustments well below the level needed for workers to make ends meet. Employers in the garment sector, a US$5bn annual export industry which increased production by over 20% last year, have been resisting attempts to improve and enforce labour laws and to publicly expose companies which breach the law. Indeed, the Garment Manufacturers’ Association of Cambodia (GMAC) has played an insidious role, threating to move production if labour unrest was not quashed and even recently praised the government for the lethal use of force against the protestors.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Historical Announcements Made At UN Climate Change Summit

The Congo Basin harbours the world’s second largest tropical forest. It is also a key resource for stabilizing the global climate. Photo: FAO/Giulio Napolitano More>>

ALSO:

  • UN News - Financial Sector to Aid in Fight Against Climate Change
  • UN News - Oil, Gas Industry Launches Plan to Slash Emissions
  • Thailand: Court Upholds Conviction On Insulting Monarchy

    23 September 2014 – The United Nations human rights office today voiced its disappointment at the decision of a court in Thailand to uphold the conviction and sentencing of an editor for publishing articles considered offensive to the monarchy. More>>

    Newly-Detected Bird Flu In Southeast Asia

    Newly-Detected Bird Flu in Southeast Asia Poses Threat to Animal Health, People’s Livelihoods More>>

    UN: Accountability For Israel Vital For Peace

    A young girl walks through a severely damaged street in Gaza. Photo: UNICEF/Eyad El Baba More>>

    Afghanistan: UN Welcomes Conclusion Of Presidential Election

    Pictured left to right: Jan Kubis, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Afghanistan, and presidential candidates Dr.Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. Photo: Fardin Waezi/UNAMA More>>

    ALSO:

    UN Rights Chief: Sinking Of Mediterranean Migrant Boat Amounts To Mass Murder

    Syrian refugees are rescued in the Mediterranean Sea, but others are not so fortunate. Photo: UNHCR/A. D'Amato More>>


    UN Mission: Advance Team For Ebola Response Arrives In West Africa

    These children in Kailahun district, Sierra Leone, survived Ebola but lost parents to the deadly virus. Photo: UNICEF/Jo Dunlop More>>

    UN: Leonardo Dicaprio New UN Messenger Of Peace

    Pictured left to right: United Nations Messenger of Peace, Leonardo DiCaprio and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Mark Garten More>>


    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news