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

 

Russian Hack Job?: White House - Actions In Response To Russian Malicious Cyber Activity & Harassment

President Obama authorized a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election in 2016. More>>


Israel/Palestine: Michael Field - Background To How Israel Nearly Went To War With New Zealand

New Zealand and Senegal managed to get the United Nations Security Council to pass resolution 2334 which said Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory violate international law and undermine a two-state solution in Israel's conflict with Palestine. More>>

ALSO:


US Indigenous Affairs: How President Obama Has Protected Our Sacred Land

I am very proud to be both Navajo and American. As the President of the Navajo Nation, I’ve dedicated my life to ensuring that, as a Navajo, my story -- and our stories -- are part of our collective American history. Today, I want to share one of those stories with you. More>>

Binoy Kampmark: The Berlin Truck Attack And The Refugee Question

The hard-nosed neo-cons were certainly showing little interest in linking arguments, examining evidence, or even considering elementary logic in the aftermath of the Berlin truck attack near the Gedächtniskirche. With the bodies fresh in the morgue, former US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, peered into the mind of the everyday German, and found teeth chattering fear. More>>


Demonetisation: Gordon Campbell On India’s Huge Socio-Economic Experiment

Without much coverage at all in the West, India has just been engaged for the past few weeks in one of the world’s biggest socio-economic experiments since the Cultural Revolution in China. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Death Of Fidel Castro

New Zealand likes to think we played our part – via the 1981 Springbok tour – in bringing the apartheid regime in South Africa to an end… Jacob Zuma treated the death of Fidel Castro at the weekend as an occasion to pay a heartfelt tribute to the thousands of Cuban soldiers who travelled across the world to inflict the first significant military defeat on the forces of white supremacy. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Election Home Stretch

Once again at the business end of a US election, the result will hinge on the same old bits of geography as always: the Five Crucial Counties in Ohio, the Two Crucial Counties in Pennsylvania and the I-4 Interstate Corridor in Florida that runs from Tampa Bay through Orlando to Daytona Beach. More>>

ALSO:

Meanwhile:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news