Home > Local News > Police beat Cambodian garment workers

Police beat Cambodian garment workers

At least eight female garment workers were injured on Monday in clashes
with Cambodian riot police, who used shields and electric shock batons
to end a protest over a factory closure, witnesses and a union said.
Police used shields and electric shock batons as they tried to force
workers back into the PCCS Garments factory, which produces items for
companies including Gap, Benetton, Adidas and Puma on July 2010

At least eight female
garment workers were injured on Monday in clashes with Cambodian riot
police, who used shields and electric shock batons to end a protest
over a factory closure, witnesses and a union said.

Some demonstrators were pushed to the ground and shocked with batons
when police with guns and riot gear were deployed to forcibly end a
road blockade by an estimated 1,000 female workers who were demanding
unpaid wages and compensation after a local factory went bankrupt.

The clashes were the latest setback for an industry that forms a
vital part of Cambodia’s fledgling $10 billion economy. The garment
sector was badly hit during the global economic slump from 2008 and
more recently has been plagued by strikes over low pay and working
conditions.

“Police were ordered to beat up workers, some were hit in the heads
and shoulders and others were pushed to the ground,” said Chhoeun
Chanthy, a 30-year-old garment worker . “We were not afraid, we were
peaceful.”

Chea Mony, president of the Cambodia’s Free Trade Union (FTU), told
Reuters the total number of injured was unknown and some workers were
being held in police custody.

“This is very serious. These workers were only in dispute with
employers,” Chea Mony said. “This violence is not justified,” he said,
adding that a government committee tasked with dealing with such
disputes was “useless”.

Phnom Penh police chief Touch Naruth declined to comment and a legal representative for the factory was unavailable.

Garment manufacturing is Cambodia’s third-biggest currency earner
after agriculture and tourism. About 30,000 jobs were lost in 2009
after a drop in sales to the United States and Europe.

The downturn led to a strike by more than 210,000 garment factory
workers last year and more mass strikes have been threatened over a
controversial move by the government to regulate trade unions.

Cambodia exported garments, textiles and shoes to the value of $2.3
billion in 2009, down from $2.9 billion in 2008. According to the World
Bank, the sector is in recovery and exports grew 24 percent in 2010
after a 20 percent contraction.

An estimated 300,000 of Cambodia’s 13.4 million people work in the
sector and send vital cash to impoverished rural villages where many
people live on less than $1 a day.

Source: Reuters

Advertisements
Categories: Local News
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: