Cambodia: More garment factories close due to the Covid-19 pandemic; unions express concerns over workers' livelihood

Author: Vicheika Kann, Voice of America , Published on: 3 April 2020

"Factories Closing Due to Coronavirus Pandemic; Unionists Worry About Worker Welfare", 31 March 2020

A garment manufacturers association representative estimated factories will face issues till June amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with Prime Minister Hun Sen saying around 57 factories had shuttered operations because of raw material shortages or lack of orders.

The coronavirus pandemic has seen at least 109 confirmed cases in the country and the government has taken passed tax breaks for garment factories to weather the current crisis…

Ken Loo, secretary-general of GMAC, said all factories were facing the effects of the global economic slowdown, especially because buyers had suspended orders.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said that …, more than 18,000 workers had their jobs suspended after some factories shutdown operations due to a lack of raw materials from China.

Hun Sen had ordered that all workers who had been temporarily suspended would get 40 percent of their basic minimum wage from the factory from the factory and 20 percent would be covered by the state…

Yang Sophorn, president of Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions, said many of the workers who are being suspended were in a precarious situation, adding that some factories were feeling the effects of the partial suspension of ‘Everything But Arms’ trade privileges.

… Chak Soth, a garment worker …, said she had been suspended …, and was given her salary and overtime for the month. And while she would receive the 40 percent promised by the factory, she was unsure of the government’s 20 percent.

Like many Cambodians, Chak Soth is worried about paying back her loans, fearing she will lose her land to the financial institution…

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Related companies: Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia