Hercum Hule is a mother with one son. Hercum works for Grand Twins International (Cambodia) Ltd., located in a district of Phnom Penh, which employs around 6000 workers. 90% of these workers are women, aged 18-35, from rural areas in the provinces. The main buyers at this factory are Adidas and Reebok.
Hercum Hule gets $66 as a basic salary, and can make this up to $95 when she works overtime. Her husband is a construction worker, earning only $30 – $45 a month. These salaries combined make up to $150 maximum. Yet Hercum’s salary is not enough to cover all of the expenses she must cover. Each month she has an expenditure of around $180. She has to pay $25 for room rent, $5 for water and electricity, $20 rice, $5 for cooking ingredients, $6.50 for gas, $20 to younger brother to pay for child care, $15 medical care, $12 for clothing for herself and her husband and son, $10 to support her sister in the provinces who is sick. $70 a month to pay for food while she is at the factory.
She has to borrow $30 a month to support her living, and this has an interest rate on it. Sometimes she manages to pay this back if she has spare money each month, and sometimes it builds up. She says she is worried that her son’s education will cost money, and she will not be able to support him when the time comes.
See tribunal document for full quotes: Case #1 living conditions