CAMBODIA: Nike calls for inquiry into factory dispute
Sportswear giant Nike has called for an inquiry by the Cambodian government into a dispute between police and thousands of garment workers at a factory it sources from.
"Nike respectfully requests that the Cambodian government open an inquiry using credible, independent third parties to determine the cause of the incident," the company said.
"We are deeply concerned with the treatment of factory workers," a Nike spokesperson told just-style.
"We also reached out to the Cambodian government with a request to address the need for worker safety while allowing them to exercise their freedom of association rights to protest," the spokesperson added.
The IndustriAll Global Union claimed up to 415 workers were sacked following the violence, while Ken Loo, secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC), told just-style the figure was much lower.
The dispute centred on claims that management had reneged on an agreement to improve employment conditions at the factory, leading local union the FTUWKC to demand a US$14 a month pay increase and for temporary workers to be given the same rights as permanent employees.
Nike said workers are employed by the contract factories, adding that wages and compensation are the responsibility of the factories.
Its code of conduct requires contractors' employees to be paid at least the minimum wage required by country law and provide legally mandated benefits.
Nike said it understands that the factory raised its own minimum wage on 1 May and pays above the country's minimum wage, adding that the workers are also eligible for additional monthly allowances for housing, transportation and food as well as an attendance bonus.
"We will continue to monitor the situation," the company added.
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