The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) urged the Cambodian government on Friday to raise the minimum wage of garment factory workers, to find justice for the five workers killed and to release the 21 workers in jail since January.
ITUC representatives from Asia and Europe held meetings on Thursday and Friday in Phnom Penh to discuss developments in Cambodia’s garment sector—particularly the defacto ban on freedom of assembly and the violent crackdown on protests in January. At that time, military police opened fire on demonstrators, killing five workers and injuring dozens more.
“The trade unions from the Southeast Asia region are all deeply concerned with the developments in this country…. Representatives from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Fiji and Singapore…are supporting the Cambodian trade unions in their struggle,” said Jeffrey Vogt, legal adviser at the ITUC’s department of human rights and trade union rights in Brussels.

“They produce over $5 billion [in exports] a year, so certainly [the factories] can support a higher minimum wage,” than $95, said Frederick Ho, deputy director of the Singapore National Trades Union

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