Photographed in 2012, Garment worker Rorm Ravy, 18, from Kampong Thom lives in a rented room with other 4 garment workers from the same factory. © ILO/ Livingston Armytage
Today is the Day of Action for Living wages in Cambodia #weneed177
Today is the global day of action called by IndustriALL, UNI global, ITUC and Cambodian unions to demand an increase in the minimum wage in the garment industry in Cambodia from $100 to $177 a month.
That’s right, many workers in Cambodia making clothes sold in a number of UK shops are only paid $100, or about £61, a month.
A Labour Behind the Label report highlighted that this is one of the lowest minimum wages in the world.
Unions say workers need $177 to be able to live – and this is backed up a study commissioned by the Cambodian government itself, yet the government have so far only responded to pay demands with violent repression.
In January, protests for a living wage in Cambodia left at least three workers dead, many more beaten and 23 union leaders imprisoned for 5 months. These workers were only released in June after significant international pressure and they still carry suspended sentences over their heads.
Today’s day of action calls for the government to commit to increasing the minimum wage when the next wages board meets in October and the TUC is seeking an urgent meeting with the Cambodian Ambassador to call on him to raise this matter with the government.
The TUC has also joined Cambodian unions in calling on brands to commit to a living wage.
This morning we supported a demonstration which was held outside Adidas’ flagship store on Oxford Street. The event was organised by Labour Behind the Label with the IndustriALL affiliated Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (C.CAWDU). Eam Rin, C.CAWDU’s leader, attended the demonstration after traveling from Cambodia to promote the living wage campaign.
Adidas are one of key companies being called to commit to living wages by Cambodian unions, along with C+A, Gap, Levis, H+M, Puma, Zara and Walmart.
Back in Cambodia, Eam’s union are taking strike action outside the factories that produce clothes for these brands.
Get involved and show your support!
To show your support for Cambodian workers please: