Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/10/2014 (1 year 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 (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 July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

Unofficial council orders two sisters to be raped and paraded naked for brother's actions in India Watch

Image of An Indian woman is one of many protesters against rape.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is an ongoing rape crisis in India and things are only getting worse. An unelected council of elders ordered the rape and public humiliation of Meenakshi Kumari, 23, and her 15-year-old sister because their brother dared to marry outside his status. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Chinese man without arms tends to paralyzed mother - feeding her food with spoon in teeth Watch

Image of Forty-eight-year-old Chen Xinyin from Chongqing, southwest China lost both his arms at seven years of age. Putting in a full day's worth of work, he know tends to his paralyzed, elderly mother - by feeding her with a spoon clenched in his teeth.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Forty-eight-year-old Chen Xinyin from Chongqing, southwest China lost both his arms at seven years of age. Putting in a full day's worth of work, he know tends to his paralyzed, elderly mother - by feeding her with a spoon clenched in his teeth. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


'I knew then my life was over': The heartbreaking reality for teen rape victims shamed in India Watch

Image of

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Indian women suffer as rapists force families to accept money in exchange for silence. In many villages, women are blamed for being raped and men do not marry single mothers, as such women are seen as shameful. Without time to finish their educations, and beaten down ... continue reading


North Korean submarines suspiciously missing following the dissolution of standoff with South Korea Watch

Image of Prime Minister Kin Jong Un.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A few days after Kim Jong Un ended a stand-off with South Korea, 50 North Korean submarines were reported to have vanished from radar. A possible surprise attack from the North is expected. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The North Korean submarines ... continue reading


Family mourns loss of newborn after it is attack by rats in hospital Watch

Image of Rat infestation in Indian hospital leads to gruesome newborn death.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A newborn died of rat bites in a government-ran hospital in the city of Vajayawada, located within the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. Los Angeles, California (Catholic Online) - The newborn boy was born in the government-ran hospital where he was sent to the pediatric ... continue reading


1,500-year-old mummified newborn uncovered in Siberia could provide insight into ancient Siberian life Watch

Image of A newborn mummy discovered in Siberia.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The remains of a newborn that was accidentally mummified 1500 years ago has been discovered in an ancient grave in Siberia. This discovery could lead to the unraveling of several mysteries concerning ancient Siberians. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


15-year-old girl forced to marry 32-year-old man: The life of Bangladeshi child brides can be full of violence and abuse Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Weddings are supposed to be one of the most memorable moments in a woman's lifetime. But for 15-year-old Nasoin Akhter it was nothing but loneliness. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Akhter was coerced into marriage with a 32-year-old man. In her wedding ... continue reading


Final Attack Operation: Kim Jong Un prepared North Korea military for battle Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Although the peninsula is technically still engaged in war, alarm and concern was raised in the region and other parts of the world after a report that North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jong Un convened with the country's senior party and defense officials. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


Welcome to Beidaihe - the Chinese seaside resort town where leaders meet to plot world domination Watch

Image of The Chinese government's meetings in Beidaihe are never formally announced. The only clear indication that political and governmental activity is afoot is when soldiers of the People's Liberation Army appear on the streets.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Known for its gentle ocean breezes, seafood, beaches, and fun activities, the Chinese seaside resort town of Beidaihe is very popular with tourists. Families and young people gather there in the summer months for fun in the sun. Bedidaihe is also very popular with ... continue reading


Relations between China and the Holy See move forward with recognition of seminary studies, students Watch

Image of Diplomatic relations between the Holy See and China were cut in 1951, two years after the Chinese Communist party seized power.

By Andrea Gagliarducci, CNA/EWTN News

In a tiny victory for Vatican-Chinese rapprochement, China's government now recognizes seminary studies and allows seminarians to continue their education in a state university should they leave. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - The Bachelor of Arts diploma young ... 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, First Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11
1 About times and dates, brothers, there is no need ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 1st, 2015 Image

St. Giles, Abbot
September 1: St. Giles, Abbot (Patron of Physically Disabled) Feast day - ... 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