The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) has condemned strike action taken by garment workers, claiming that it contravenes labour laws.

GMAC said the action by the Khmer Union Federation of Workers Spirit, led by Mom Siek, had blocked roads and led to violence and the destruction of property belonging to Jiun Ye Garment (Cambodia) last Wednesday.

The organisation also condemned another eight union federations which led a strike and blocked the factory gate of FWKK (Cambodia) a day later, claiming that the unions had no legal representation in either factory.

GMAC also claimed that workers were threatened in order to stop them entering the factories, and called on the authorities to punish those responsible.

It added that, with Vietnam in the final stages of FTA talks with the EU and negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with the US, Cambodia’s trading advantages would soon “disappear”, impacting the country’s competitiveness.

“We urge all stakeholders to act responsibly to ensure the continued employment of more than 650,000 workers in the garment and footwear industry in Cambodia,” GMAC said.