Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/10/2014 (8 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

January demonstration ends with five workers shot dead

You get what you pay for - and if you don't pay enough, what you want evaporates before your eyes. That seems to be the problem behinds Cambodia's garment industry, a collection of "sweat shops" where workers toil for as little as $100 a month. It's an inequity that can no longer be ignored - five people were killed in a sweat shop demonstration in Phnom Penh on January 3. The incident served as a clarion call that the problem surrounding cheap labor here is not going to go away anytime soon.

Advocacy groups are urging clothing brands to review their purchasing practices and take action to ultimately end low wages, which is at the root of demonstrations.

Advocacy groups are urging clothing brands to review their purchasing practices and take action to ultimately end low wages, which is at the root of demonstrations.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/10/2014 (8 months ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Cambodia, sweat shops, demonstrations


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Workers are getting very angry," Anannya Bhattacharjee of the New Delhi-based Asia Floor Wage Alliance says. "There is a lot of explosiveness. They do not want to tolerate the current situation of continuing poverty anymore."
 
Strikes and protests regularly roil Cambodia's garment industry. Advocacy groups are urging clothing brands to review their purchasing practices and take action to ultimately end low wages, which is at the root of demonstrations.

Help in the fight against tuberculosis by going here --

The Cambodian government first offered to raise monthly pay from 80 to 95 dollars, then to 100. Striking workers, however, insisted that the minimum level be at least 160 dollars.

Campaigning for higher minimum wages across garment-producing countries in Asia, Asia Floor Wage thinks that if statutory minimum wages are not high enough, multinational companies need to be involved.

"Garment workers are producing for the whole global industry, so multinationals should pay the difference between statutory minimum wage and living wage," Bhattacharjee said.

"This is not an unfair demand, but brands are still not agreeing to provide the money for it," she said.

Major U.S. clothing firms have since spoken out about the pay inequity in Cambodia. American Eagle Outfitters, Gap Inc. and Levi Strauss & Co. have sent an open letter to Cambodia's government expressing their concerns over the recent bloody protests. They have also called for the government, manufacturers and trade unions to develop a regularly-scheduled wage review mechanism.

Levi Strauss & Co. in a statement said it is "firmly committed to sourcing in Cambodia" and encourages peaceful resolution to end political unrest. A spokesperson from Gap Inc. said the company strongly opposes any form of violence, calling for negotiations among stakeholders to peacefully resolve the dispute.

Still -- further steps must be taken, according to the Washington-based International Labor Rights Forum.

"Brands and retailers need to agree to voluntarily pay higher prices for apparel products made in Cambodia and require the factories to therefore pay higher wages," Liana Foxvog, communications director of the Forum, says.

Multinationals have spread their supply chains around the world, driving a "race to the bottom" among developing countries. "We have seen low wages, repression of freedom of association as well as poor working conditions," Foxvog said.

"We need a system that is different from the current business-as-usual model where brands and retailers will shop around to different factories and say who will make this shirt for two dollars. If a factory won't, they can find a factory that will.

"As a result we still have a sweatshop economy in 2014," she said.

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

MASSIVE FAILURE - Good money after bad in Obama opium strategy Watch

Image of Afghan farmers work their fields, just as they have since the time of Alexander the Great.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Despite American and Coalition expenditures in Afghanistan, that country has produced a record crop of opium. The crop is important because it is often used to finance extremism in the far-flung region. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The United Nations Office on ... continue reading


Six times as many people are executed in China as the rest of the world COMBINED Watch

Image of New figures show that China may execute six times as many people as the rest of the world combined.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Dui Hua Foundation, a San Francisco-based human rights group, said that China executed 2,400 prisoners last year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Chinese government is sensitive about their executions, though the number of executed prisoners has decreased ... continue reading


How would you like to handle acid with your bare hands? For many in Bangladesh, this is their only option Watch

Image of A Bangladesh man handling toxic material without any protective equipment.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is a dark side in the growing labor sector of Bangladesh, one that makes workers look decades older than they are. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sharif Hossain is just one of the workers affected. The 35-year-old has worked in the city of Old Dhaka's ... continue reading


New Indonesian president promises a 'people-centric' government Watch

Image of Indonesia's new president, Joko Widodo, during his inaugural parade.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Indonesia got a new president, Joko Widodo, a 53-year-old man who was sworn in on October 20 after Bambang Yudhoyono stepped down after having served two five-year terms. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The man from the Javan slums already has a plan for his ... continue reading


Even state-recognized church in China targeted for persecution Watch

Image of The Chinese government has infringed upon the freedom of its citizens, including gross violations of human rights and targeting churches.

By CNA/EWTN News

The state of religious freedom in China is moving from bad to worse, said U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), responding to a new report by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. (CNA/EWTN News) - "There's a huge gulf now" between China and the Catholic ... continue reading


Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death by hanging on blasphemy charges Watch

Image of In spite of international outrage and hundreds of thousands of people signing a petition for her release, Asia Bibi lost an appeal to have her sentence overturned. She now faces death by hanging.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Pakistani Christian woman has been sentenced to death by hanging following accusations that she made blasphemous comments about the prophet Mohammed. While harvesting berries in 2009, 46-year-old Asia Bibi got into a fight with a group of Muslim women who ... continue reading


Persecuted Indonesian Christians worship in strip mall Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Evangelical Christian Church in Bekasi, Indonesia is held in a most unusual place. Driven from traditional houses of worship on account of hardline Islamists, many Christians here have taken to worshiping in out-of-the-way places, such as this strip mall.  LOS ... continue reading


It's getting harder to be a Christian in Indonesia - hardline Muslims prevent the opening of churches, burn others Watch

Image of Indonesian Muslims demonstrate against Christians on Christmas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christians in Indonesia are facing increasing persecution as hardline Muslims gain more influence in government. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country and is moving increasingly towards Sharia law. JAKARTA, INDONESIA (Catholic Online) - Indonesia is the ... continue reading


Aware of Islamic State, Filipinos pray daily for Pope Francis' safety during January visit Watch

Image of General Gregorio Catapang Jr. asked in a statement that all Catholic service members to also pray a rosary daily for the Pope's safety when he visits the Philippines from January 15 to 19.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The head of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, General Gregorio Catapang Jr. asked in a statement that all Catholic service members to also pray a rosary daily for the Pope's safety when he visits the Philippines from January 15 to 19. Military and government ... continue reading


Jesuit social activists meet to ask -- have we failed the poor? Watch

Image of Secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace Teesta Setalvad drew the Jesuits' attention to the emerging socio-political situation in India that imperils Dalits, Adivasis and minorities.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A recent convention of Jesuits engaged in social work in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka met in Bhopal. The question asked was, following decades of work, have we failed the poor? Much remains to be done, and a clear, ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:7-16
7 On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:1-9
1 It was just about this time that some people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 25th, 2014 Image

St. Daria
October 25: There is very little known about them. Chrysanthus was an ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter