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WELCOME TO THE ARCHIVE (1994-2014) OF THE MAQUILA SOLIDARITY NETWORK. For current information on our ongoing work on the living wage, women's labour rights, freedom of association, corporate accountability and Bangladesh fire and safety, please visit our new website, launched in October, 2015:

Update on the situation of Cambodia garment workers

February 12, 2014

(Photo by AFL-CIO Solidarity Center)

Much has happened in Cambodia since December of last year. A garment workers strike which began on December 24th was met with violent repression by military police leaving at least four people dead and injuring dozens of others. Since then, 23 people have been arrested with only two recently released on bail. The others remain in a notoriously isolated prison.

Meanwhile, 170 apparel manufacturers have filed legal cases against Cambodian trade unions for alleged losses suffered in what the companies consider an illegal strike and 120 workers have been dismissed from 20 factories for their participation in that strike, only 30 of whom have been reinstated.

In response to the violent repression, labour union and human and labour rights NGOs in Cambodia and internationally organized an international day of action on February 10th outside various embassies. In Canada, 22 human rights, trade union, student, international development and community organizations from Canada and Québec, sent a joint letter to the Cambodian Embassy in the US condemning the violence perpetrated by members of the police and armed forces against striking garment workers. Key demands included the release of the rest of the 21 detained workers, an end to repression against garment workers and trade unions, an investigation into the violence against protesting workers, respect for freedom of association including the right to strike, and a resumption of good faith negotiations for a just minimum wage.

The Day of Action was timed one day prior to bail hearings for the 21 detainees. Unfortunately, bail was denied.

For more information please see our last three web postings:
•    Global Day of Action calls for release of 21 detained Cambodian workers
•    30 global brands call for investigation of deadly violence in Cambodia
•    Support grows for Cambodian garment workers after violent government crackdown

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