Friday, January 3, 2014

Three Striking Cambodian Factory Workers Killed; Police Shoot at Workers Striking for Higher Pay

At least three people were killed in Cambodia today (January 3, 2014) when police opened fire on textile factory workers on strike, according to the Euro News website.

Human rights workers said security forces were armed with rifles and pistols. They shot at demonstrators who threw rocks, bottles, and petrol bombs outside a factory in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh.

The workers are seeking a pay increase as part of a nationwide strike. The government has offered to raise the minimum wage from 58 euros a month to the equivalent of 70 euros a month. Unions have rejected that increase.

Many American big brands outsource clothing and footwear manufacturing to Cambodia, because of its cheap labor costs. For example, jeans made in Cambodia usually sell in the United States for a higher price per pair than the workers' earnings of  58 euros a month income.

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