Australian workers call on Cambodian Government to urgently investigate deaths of garment workers du
Australian workers call on Cambodian Government to urgently investigate
deaths of garment workers during strike action
Australian workers will deliver a letter to the Cambodian Ambassador tomorrow to seek an urgent meeting
to discuss the Government response to the killing of at least four garment workers during recent strike
ACTU President Ged Kearney said the international community would not stand by silently as workers are
killed fighting for basic conditions.
“The situation in Cambodia is deeply worrying and Australian Unions join with Unions from around the world
to condemn the actions of the Cambodian Government and call on them to urgently investigate these
unnecessary deaths and increase the grossly inadequate minimum wage.”
TCFUA National Secretary Michele O'Neil said Cambodian garment workers are amongst the lowest paid in
the world and some have now paid the ultimate price in their campaign to lift the minimum wage.
"The Cambodian Government must act immediately to support an independent investigation into the
horrific deaths of workers who were simply asking for fair pay during strikes on 3 January and also release
all 23 detained unionists," Ms O'Neil said.
"The Government must also set a minimum wage on which workers and their families can meet their basic
"Garment workers in Cambodia should be paid a living wage which reflects the true cost of living. Instead
they survive on poverty wages."
"Many Australians would be wearing clothes made in these Cambodian factories with brands such as
Kmart, Target, Pacific Brands and Big W all relying upon Cambodian manufacturing.
"With the horrific scenes of garment workers in Bangladesh only last year still fresh in our minds Australian
companies should join the international brands demanding action from the Cambodian Government.”
Ms O'Neil said that Australian unions support the international trade union mission to Cambodia that has
demanded the establishment of a credible, independent inquiry to investigate the killings and for those
responsible to be held accountable.
The Mission has also called for urgent action to raise the minimum wage and a government pledge to fully
respect ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association, which Cambodia has ratified.
"Research shows that Cambodia’s garment industry has an annual turnover of US$5.1bn so it's clear they
can afford to pay more than the monthly minimum wage of US$ 100," Ms O'Neil said.
IndustriALL research shows that a minimum of US$260 is needed to cover basic expenses of a family of
four so urgent action is needed for these workers.
Details for tomorrow's protest:
10:30am, Thursday 23 January 2014
Outside the Cambodian Embassy in Canberra, 5 Canterbury Crescent
Contact: Michele O’Neil: 0419 338 853