Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/10/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

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.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

2/10/2014 (1 year 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'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Asia Pacific

Clone livestock, racehorses, the family pet - China opens world's FIRST 'CLONING' FACTORY Watch

Image of The factory will include a 15,000 square meter laboratory, an animal center, a gene bank, and an exhibition hall. The facility is expected to open as soon as within the first six months of 2016.


China, leading the world in cloning technology, is set to open a multi-million dollar facility in order to clone racehorses, livestock, even the family pet. Officials hope that this brings the still-dodgy practice of cloning closer to mainstream respectability. ... continue reading

777 Capt: 'MH370 will be found within the next four to eight weeks' Watch

Image of Ocean Shield, one of the key recovery vessels leading the search for MH370 in the Southern Indian Ocean.


A British pilot has predicted that Malaysian Airlines flight 370 will be found within the next four to eight weeks, based on his careful recreation of the plane's disappearance. The team searching for the plane is expected to move into the area where a mathematical ... continue reading

CONFIRMED: Bones found in Russian mineshaft are of Tsar Nicholas II Watch

Image of DNA testing has conclusively confirmed that human bones found in a Russian mineshaft belonged to onetime Russian leader Nicholas II.


Some of the mystery surrounding Russia's final tsar, has finally been laid to rest. DNA testing has conclusively confirmed that human bones found in a Russian mineshaft belonged to the onetime leader. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In addition, new samples ... continue reading

Koala baby Imogen - and Internet sensation celebrates her first birthday Watch

Image of Baby Imogen will be celebrating her first birthday with lots of eucalyptus leaves.


Adorable koala baby Imogen is celebrating her first birthday. An Internet sensation, the adorable Koala bear has captivated the world with her struggles to survive after her mother was used as a surrogate for another orphaned koala bear. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading

You've never had Cotton Candy like this before! (Amazing Photo Gallery) Watch

Image of These new concoctions are created through highly detailed, precise work on the part of the confectioner.


Resembling psychedelic works of art, people are uploading pictures of the wacky creations of Chinese candy makers as they kick up the art of cotton candy to a whole new level. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chinese candy artisans are creating huge, elaborately ... continue reading

You won't believe dying man's final wish - he marries a SEX DOLL Watch

Image of Photos show the unnamed holding his plastic bride, dancing with her in a ballroom and taking a few candid shots of them in front of a make-up mirror.


Whether it's actually true or not is still a matter of debate, but it has the internet community in China buzzing. A 28-year-old man in Beijing, supposedly dying of terminal cancer, has married a sex doll! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A series of bizarre ... continue reading

Everything you need to know about the controversial Trans-Pacific trade deal Watch

Image of The agreement discourages imports of goods produced by forced labor, requiring members to adopt laws on acceptable working conditions.


It remains to be ratified - but if approved, the Pacific trade deal will free up commerce in 40 percent of the world's economy, particularly in Southeast Asia. Details about the agreement have been released. The agreement is intended to counter China's rising and ... continue reading

The shocking way YOU'RE supporting Christian persecution in Pakistan Watch

Image of Pakistani Muslims burn an image of Our Lady during one of their riots against Christians.


Christians are being slaughtered in Pakistan and the U.S. government continues to prop up the nation, which turns a blind eye to the violence. Because the foreign aid sent to Pakistan comes from taxpayers, you are essentially financing Christian persecution in the ... continue reading

China ends controversial 'one-child policy' after 35 years of extreme population control Watch

Image of


China has made the decision to abandon their "one-child policy." With the controversial law lifted, Chinese couples will now be allowed to have two children. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Communist Party leadership met to discuss the growing concerns over ... continue reading

Two prehistoric lion cubs found - fur and all, in Sakha Republic Watch

Image of Two Eurasian lion cubs were found almost perfectly preserved in the permafrost near Siberia.


An adorable furry face beams up to modern man ten thousand years after it went extinct. Two remarkably preserved prehistoric lion cubs were discovered in the Sakha Republic in Russia over the summer. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The find is significant as ... continue reading

All Asia Pacific News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • Happy Thanksgiving Day: Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart
  • Daily Readings for Friday, November 27, 2015
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • St. James Intercisus: Saint of the Day for Friday, November 27, 2015
  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: God is good
  • Bet you've never seen a space rocket do THIS!

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 7:2-14
2 Daniel said, 'I have been seeing visions in the night. I saw that the ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81
75 Bless the Lord, mountains and hills, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:29-33
29 And he told them a parable, 'Look at the fig tree and indeed every ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 27th, 2015 Image

St. James Intercisus
November 27: James was a favorite of King Yezdigerd I of ... Read More