Garment factory floor collapse injures 4 in Cambodia

October 21st, 2014 , Xinhuanet News

Four Cambodian garment workers were slightly injured on Tuesday after part of the floor in a garment factory collapsed into a pond built underneath, a local police chief confirmed.

The incident occurred at 10:00 a.m. (local time) at Nishiku Enterprise in Bati district of southern Takeo province, Nham Sary, police chief of Bati district, said. …

It was the third incident in garment factories in the last two years. In May last year, there was a collapse of a concrete ceiling in Wing Star Shoes factory, leaving two workers dead and nine others seriously injured. In the same month, a kiosk at Top World garment factory collapsed into a lake, causing injuries to 23 workers. …

Xinhuanet News Staff
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2014-10/21/c_133731886.htm

Map connects factories and buyers

July 1st, 2013 , The Phnom Penh Post

In light of ongoing disputes over working conditions in the garment sector, the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) released yesterday details on hundreds of factories it believes will offer greater transparency along the garment supply chain – from producers to buyers – and shine a light on those responsible for rights violations within Cambodia’s largest export industry.

Posted on the CCHR website, the “Garment Factory Map” details 559 factory locations, the nationality of owners, the number of employees and, where information is available, the international brands that the local producers supply. …

CCHR president Ou Virak said by allowing consumers, workers, unions, investors, governments and buyers greater insight into an often complex supply chain, all players can be held to greater account, ultimately highlighting and applying greater pressure on the factories where violations occur.

Virak also hopes that consumers will be more closely connected to the conditions in which their purchases are made. …

The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia secretary-general Ken Loo acknowledges the complexity of the garment supply chain, and while he agrees that it could lead to greater pressure applied to buyers during worker disputes, this would occur only “on the basis if the factory is at fault”. …

Daniel de Carteret
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/2013070166578/Business/map-connects-factories-and-buyers.html

Collapses raise concerns over emergency training

June 14th, 2013 , The Phnom Penh Post

When a bridge and kiosk collapsed into a pond at a Phnom Penh garment factory last month, injuring more than 20 workers, the Prime Minister’s Bodyguard Unit and police rushed to scour the murky water for survivors.

Some hours later, those forces remained unsure whether any workers from the Top World garment factory remained unaccounted for.

The reason, Phnom Penh municipal police chief Choun Sovann said at the time, was that hundreds of garment workers had defied police orders to return to their stations for a headcount. …

John Muller, managing director of Cambodian-based Global Security Solutions, said police and other authorities are hamstrung by a lack of funding, which prevents staff from being properly trained and developing the know-how and technical skills needed to respond appropriately to emergencies. …

Steve Morrish, a former senior-detective in Australia and founder and executive director of NGO SISHA, said new police recruits were only getting about 20 to 25 weeks academy training before being sent out to work. The only training many of them received after that, he added, came from NGOs and private security companies like Muller’s. …

Even police spokesman Kirt Chantarith admitted police were hampered by budget constraints. But the government has improved training to better respond to emergency situations like the stampede at Koh Pich in 2010, in which more than 300 people were killed, he added. …

Shane Worrell
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/2013061466282/National/collapses-raise-concerns-over-emergency-training.html

Factories Asked to Voluntarily Assess Safety

May 28th, 2013 , The Cambodia Daily

The Garment Manufactures Association of Cambodia (GMAC) and International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Better Factories Cambodia yesterday asked factory owners to voluntarily conduct structural audits on their buildings in light of building collapses at two garment factories that killed two people and injured 23. …

“In the aftermath of these partial collapses on factory premises, we are strongly advising a structural review of all buildings in all garment and footwear factories in Cambodia,” the letter says. …

GMAC and the ILO said they could provide a list of construction and engineering firms to factories planning to undertake the voluntary structural review, but had not approved any of the firms. …

Social Affairs Minister Ith Sam Heng promised on the day of the collapse that a nationwide review of the factories would be conducted, and that legal action would be taken. …

Dern-Hern Chen and Chhorn Chansy
http://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/factories-asked-to-voluntarily-assess-safety-27319/

H&M Says Garments Made in Cambodian Factory Without Approval

May 22nd, 2013 , Bloomberg

Hennes & Mauritz AB, Europe’s second-biggest clothing retailer, said some H&M garments were produced without its knowledge or approval at a factory in Cambodia where workers were injured in a partial building collapse this week.

A supplier of the Stockholm-based company placed two minor orders with an unapproved sub-supplier at the Hong Kong-owned Top World garment factory, H&M spokeswoman Anna Eriksson said today in an e-mailed response to questions. She said H&M has no business relations with the plant, where a shelter collapsed into a river injuring at least 23 people, according to Xinhua. …

H&M isn’t the first retailer to discover its products are made in factories that escape its scrutiny as suppliers hire subcontractors without their knowledge when rushing to fill orders. When clothing bound for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) and Sears Holdings Corp. was found in the ruins of a fatal factory blaze in Bangladesh last year, the companies said their goods were manufactured there without their permission. …

Katarina Gustafsson
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-22/h-m-says-garments-made-in-cambodian-factory-without-approval.html

Boss commits royal blunder

October 23rd, 2012 , The Phnom Penh Post

A Chinese factory manager sparked a near-riot in Phnom Penh yesterday morning after publicly destroying two photos of the late King Father in front of hundreds of workers.

More than a thousand employees of the Top World garment factory launched an immediate strike, and threatened to march from the Meanchey district factory to the Royal Palace before being diverted by police who brought the manager, Wang Xiao Jiao, to the Phnom Penh Municipal Police headquarters for questioning. …

According to accounts from workers, monitors, factory officials and authorities, Xiao Jiao, an operations manager at Top World Garment, grabbed the photos from a worker who had been showing them to friends outside the factory gates. Annoyed by the distraction the photos had been causing, Xiao Jiao then tore them up and threw them aside, enraging those who had witnessed the scene.  ….

The response was instantaneous. Employees stopped working and gathered in front of the factory to demand an apology to the late king, said Keo Chenda, a worker representative.  …

Mom Kunthear and Abby Sieff, P. 1
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2012102359368/National-news/boss-commits-royal-blunder.html