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Nowadays, the lion’s share of stylish high street clothes marked by popular brands like H&M, Zara, Old Navy and others come to consumers around the world from Asian countries, as these multinational companies prefer placing their capacities there, motivated by benefit and…
As the free trade agreement was signed by the United States and Cambodia within WTO (World Trade Organization), the country became the “favorite” supplier of brand clothes for American shopping malls. However, the situation is rather grave as Cambodian workers (with mainly women from rural areas being among them) face inadequate and extremely poor working conditions as well as low wages. Most workers have to live on only 3 dollars a day, working hard in unfavorable factory conditions (Tolson, 2014). It is also remarkable that almost a half of a day wage has to be spent for meal. Thus, seeking to save money, Cambodian workers often share meals, that eventually leads to malnutrition and fainting (Tolson, 2014). Fainting has affected about 4000 factory workers in the recent years, with cases of mass fainting in the workplace. This concerning fact couldn’t go unattended as faintings were caused by hunger, heat, poor ventilation, long working days and inhalation of chemical substances for fabric processing. Considering the abundant evidences, one can easily conclude that labor rights are blatantly violated in Cambodia, violations were so numerous that last months of 2013 and first part of 2014 brought workers’ strikes and protests in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh with demands to increase wage. Garment industry workers are paid beyond the subsistent minimum wage. The situation went far enough for the government to deploy police for suppression of protests leaving several people dead and numerous of them wounded. Moreover, this summer, several lethal cases were reported with women fainting in the workplace and then dying. Labor unions try to promote their demands of minimum wage increase so that workers can afford adequate existence. Community Legal Education Center (CLEC), an organization advocating for human and labor rights, tries to convince main brands having their capacities in Cambodia to implement the program of free meals for workers ...
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