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

 


A WEEK THAT SHOOK CAMBODIA

A WEEK THAT SHOOK CAMBODIA

Release of the Fact-finding Mission Report on the Violent Crackdown on Garment Workers in Cambodia (Dec 2013-Jan 2014)

The garment industry has been the chief engine of the Cambodian economy for the past two decades since its establishment in 1994. However, garment workers still account for a large part of the country's working poor. Workers are universally unhappy about the quality of life in general and the minimum wage in particular. To maintain basic livelihoods, they must work increasingly more over me, to the point of exhaustion and beyond as seen in the mass fainting at work of more than 4,000 garment workers in the past two years.

On December 24th 2013, despite the workers' demands to increase the minimum wage to US$ 160, the Royal Government of Cambodia announced its decision to increase the minimum wage from US$ 80 to only US$ 95 a month by April 2014. They also outlined a plan to increase the wages to US$ 160 by 2018. Representatives from six major labour federations and confederations rejected the decision and called for a general strike, demanding an immediate rise in the minimum wage to US$ 160, which was consistent with the Ministry of Labour's assessment of the minimum wage of US$ 157-177 a month to survive in Cambodia in 2013. The demonstrations started that same afternoon of December 24th and led to a massive protest by the majority of workers over the next few days.

The peaceful strike on December 29th was the largest protest. A major feature of this strike was that it was a 'self generated strike' by rank-and-file workers almost unanimously supporting the demand to raise the minimum wage. Employers and the government took increasingly aggressive steps to bring the strikes under control, but the strikes and mass rallies continued until December 31st. On December 31st, the Ministry of Labour announced a slightly modified proposal to increase the minimum wage to US$ 100 but protests continued; workers marched to the Council of Ministers where they were met with barbed wire roadblocks and riot police. Tensions were building between the workers and the authorities.

Between January 2nd and 3rd 2014, the authorities violently suppressed the protests. Numerous media reports, workers, and witnesses confirmed the excessive use of brutal force by the police and armed forces that killed at least four workers and severely injured
at least 38 other workers and supporters. One person remains missing and is presumed
dead. Two journalists (one Australian and one Cambodian) and several monks were also beaten during the incidents. The authorities also arrested 23 workers and to date 21 of them remain in detention. Many workers and witnesses have reported that the security forces started the violent clash with strikers.

In response to these tragic events, an international team of labour activists, academics and human rights defenders formed a fact-finding mission to document the workers' experiences and perspectives in the aftermath of the violence. To mark the launch of the fact-finding report, Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC) invites you to join us at the press conference. Two trade union leaders from the Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC) will be present to recount the brutal crackdown on the striking workers: Mr. Kong Athit, the General Secretary, Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC) and Vice President, Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (C.CAWDU). Mr. Mora Sar, President, Cambodian Food and Service Workers Federation (CFSWF).

Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC) was established in 2006. CLC is a democratic and independent confederation with 83,367 members from eight union federations and associations: Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union(C.CAWDU), Cambodian Tourism and Service workers Federation (CTSWF), Independent Democratic of Informal Economic Association (IDEA), Cambodian Independent Civil-Servants Association (CICA), Farmers Association for Peace and Development (FAPD), Cambodian Food and Service-Workers Federation (CFSWF), Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodian (BWTUC), and Coalition of Cambodian Employee Workers of Industry and Service Union (CEWISU).

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

ANZAC Commemorations - Scoop Team Coverage

Nepal Quake Response : NZ USAR team stood down

Foreign Minister Murray McCully says that the New Zealand Urban Search and Rescue team due to leave for Nepal overnight has been stood down. "“Our USAR team has been on stand-by since Sunday and was due to head to Nepal last night. Prior to their departure, the Nepalese Government informed us that they had enough USAR capability in-country and our team was no longer required." More >>

Earlier: NZ Govt. NZ USAR team to Nepal & Fire Service - USAR team leaves tonight for Kathmandu (Image Red Cross twitter)

 

West Papua: “Lest We Forget”

AS Anzac approaches and Australians and New Zealanders remember those who fought and lost their lives on Anzac Day, it is hoped we will also remember the unfree people of the Pacific region and in particular those who are still suffering from human ... More>>

Iran: 81 Executions In One Week

Coincident with mass executions in the prisons of Ghezel-Hessar, Karaj and other cities, the anti-human regime of mullahs sent 16 other prisoners to the gallows in Mashhad and Birjand (northeastern Iran). Twelve of them were hanged collectively ... More>>

Al-Shabaab: Four Unicef Staff Killed In Somalia

Four UNICEF staff members have been killed in an attack on their vehicle in Garowe, Somalia. Four other UNICEF colleagues are in a serious condition. The IED (improvised explosive device) attack occurred when the staff were travelling from their guest ... More>>

UN: Suicide Attack In Jalalabad Condemned

NEW YORK/KABUL/GENEVA (18April 2015) – “I strongly condemn the brutal suicide attack that coincided with my visit to Jalalabad today,” said United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović during his visit to Afghanistan. ... More>>

Save The Children: STC Urges EU Leaders To Act To Prevent More Mass Drownings

Save the Children Urges EU Leaders to Act to Prevent More Mass Drownings at Sea. More>>

ALSO:

Japan: Independent Experts Slam Japan’s New Whaling Plan

Independent experts slam Japan’s new whaling plan and declare no more whales need to be killed for Antarctic research More>>

Gaza Strip: Attacks In The Border Areas

Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called “buffer zone”, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip. The precise area designated by ... More>>

Australian Government: Iraq Deployment: Joint Press Conference, Canberra

Back in March, the Government announced that we were preparing a force for a Building Partner Capacity training mission in Iraq. I can inform you that today the Cabinet has decided to deploy that force. The deployment will start tomorrow and we expect ... More>>

UNHRC: UN Committee Against Torture To Review New Zealand

UN Committee against torture to review New Zealand, Congo, Romania, Luxembourg, Spain, Serbia, Colombia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia More>>

UNHRC: Nigeria: One Year On, Call To Bring Back Abducted Children

Nigeria: One year on, UN and African experts call for decisive steps to bring back abducted children More>>

EU & US Let Iran Win Top Seat On UN Women’s Rights Board

EU & US Allowed Iran to Win Top Seat on UN Women’s Rights Board, Rights Group Says More>>

Peaceful Tree Planting Attacked By Zionist Settlers/soldiers

Peaceful tree planting attacked by zionist settlers and soldiers, two Palestinians hospitalised and a German activist arrested. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news