Case #4: The general strike


The fourth workers’ case was presented by Mr. Pheakdey, General Secretary at the trade union Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (CCAWDU).

Mr. Pheakdey said:

“They live four or five people in a room, where they wash, eat and sleep. Their living condition is in chaos. They suffer from diseases. If one person gets sick, the other 4 or 5 cannot get rest. Therefore the other workers need to look after their colleague. When they work they work ten or twelve hours and this is the story we hear about every day. The employers don’t understand about the difficulties of the workers. They just want them to work. Workers now have disease, for example typoid and heavy chough. The companies do not pay attention when they give the workers masks. When auditors and inspectors come, the workers are provided with the masks but one or two days after inspection, they stop distributing the mask. They can only get sick after working for the factory for 8-10 years and then they have to sell everything to afford treatment.” Continue reading


Case 3# Mass Fainting

The vice president of NIFTUC gave evidence to the tribunal. She said:

“Every month we have fainting cases. Sometimes it is new workers, sometimes same persons. But if the workers go to the hospital for two or three days, and the doctors say they have no problems, they are still weak. They have to stay at home, and then they loose the attendance bonus, and they don’t get paid for work. Workers face fainting incident because they can not get enough wages, they can not buy enough food.”

“If you think about the family – they do not have the money to support their family, themselves. They are very worried. If they faint and come back into the workplace they can get blamed, they are worried. Anything that comes as a surprise, the workers can become unconscious very quickly.” Continue reading

Case 2# Short Term Contracts

Blossom Century Factory is located  in Takeo Province, Cambodia, outside Phnom Penh. The factory employs around 1200 workers and the main buyer is H&M. A worker organiser from the factory reported to the tribunal that around 90% of the workers are employed on fixed duration contracts in this factory, which are renewed on a regular basis. This is a problem for a number of reasons.

Any workers who are active in union work or join as union members often find that their contracts are not renewed. As a result of this workers fear union leaders or activists, and even fear that if they are seen talking to union representatives, their contracts will not be renewed. Continue reading

Case 1# Living Conditions for workers

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. Continue reading

Information of Cambodia’s Garment Industry


Study by ILO Better Factories Cambodia in collaboration with The World Bank, CARE and UNIFEM, 2006
Cambodia: Women and Work in the Garment Industry

Report by Nathan Associates Inc. for USAID, June 2006
Cambodia Garment Industry Workforce Assessment: Identifying Skill Needs and Source of Supply

Report by USAID, June 2005
Measuring Competitiveness and Labor Productivity in Cambodia’s Garment Industry

Report by the Foreign Investment Advisory Service, a joint service of the International Finance Corporation and The World Bank, December 2004
Cambodia: Corporate Social Responsibility and the Apparel Sector – Buyer survey results

Report by the Asian Development Bank, October 2004
Cambodia’s Garment Industry: Meeting the challenge of the post-quota environment