As night falls thousands of weary workers stream from textile factories that fan out across Phnom Penh’s outskirts.
The clothing industry’s desire for cheap labour having created an abundance of jobs but as the number of international clothes companies tapping into Cambodia’s workforce grows, so does anger at the low wages and tough conditions that come with such employment in the global garment industry. …
Overwork, malnutrition and poor ventilation are to blame for staff fainting in factories since 2010, according to Moeun Tola, program manager at the Community Legal Education Centre, which provides advocacy for workers. …
The Governor of Bavet city Chhouk Bundit, who is suspected of being involved in shooting three garment workers last month, was removed from his position to make way for the court to look into the case.
“Prime Minister Hun Sen signed a letter on Monday to remove him (Chhouk Bundit) from the post to enable the court to carry out investigations into the case,” Svay Rieng province deputy governor Svay Rieng told Xinhua news agency Thursday.
On March 5, the Svay Rieng Provincial Court issued a letter to summon Chhouk Bundit for questioning for his role in the alleged shooting of three garment workers on February 20. ….
The shooting incident took place at the Manhattan Special Economic Zone (SEZ) situated in Svay Rieng province’s Bavet city, where some 3,000 workers from three factories — Kingmaker Footwear, Kaoway Sports and Sheico — were staging a protest seeking a salary increase.
Bavet town governor Chhouk Bandith is the man who gunned down three unarmed women at a protest last week, Interior Minister Sar Kheng alleged yesterday, saying an official complaint had been filed against him.
Outside an unrelated conference, the minister told reporters the governor would be arrested imminently in relation to the shootings at the Kaoway Sports Ltd shoe factory in Svay Rieng province’s Bavet town during a February 19 protest of about 6,000 people.
“Related to the arrest of a suspect or not, it is not the duty of the Ministry of Interior, it is the duty of the court, but it will not take longer than one week because we have to do it clearly,” he said.
Allegations have steadily surfaced against the high-profile suspect since he told the Post last Tuesday he was aware of accusations against him which he categorically denied. …
May Titthara and David Boyle, P. 1
Security footage of a shooting outside a shoe factory on Monday that left three protestors in hospital has been reviewed by police, the head of the special economic zone where the incident took place said yesterday.
The three women were shot at a violent protest of about 6,000 people at the Kaoway Sports Ltd factory in Svay Rieng province’s Bavet town, which supplies sportswear giant PUMA.
Larry Kao, managing director of the Manhattan SEZ, said security footage of the incident, which he had not seen, had been taken by government officials on Wednesday.
“They reviewed the shooting – the government officials,” he said.
On Tuesday, Interior Minister Sar Kheng said there was sufficient evidence to convict a suspect, who he did not identify.
David Boyle and May Titthara
German sportwear maker Puma sent officials to investigate working conditions in Cambodia after a local woman working for one of its suppliers was shot during a labour protest on Monday.
The woman, who was employed by Kaoway Sports, was shot during a protest by employees of several factories calling for better working conditions and increased pay.
Puma said it is paying for the medical costs of the woman, who is receiving treatment at a hospital in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh.
Puma said its safety directors in Asia were working with non-governmental organisations, other brands and trade unions to come up with ways to improve the safety and well-being of employees in its supplier factories.
“We are very aware that the working situation in Cambodia is problematic so that’s why we’re in the process of talking at an industry-wide level,” a Puma spokeswoman told Reuters.