The Cambodian garment industry is threatening the worst strike in its history after two of its biggest workers' unions vowed to take action over low pay and an unsolved murder case.

The unions, named Free Trade Union (FTU) and Cambodian Labour Federation (CLF), today (22 January) called for a week-long nationwide strike within the industry.

They want to pressurise the country's Government to solve the murder case of the country's most respected union leader, Chea Vichea.

"We send this message to the Government that it's time to find the killers, for the family, to make us calm," said Chea Mony, brother of Chea Vichea and president of the FTA.

The two unions also are also pushing the boundaries of Prime Minister Hun Sen's government, which is reportedly trying to push through tough laws to stifle dissent.
 
Cambodia's garment industry has been its economic backbone for some time, and is the country's third-biggest foreign currency earner behind agriculture and tourism.

However, its more than 330,000 industry workers report issues over working hours, trade union rights and low pay in comparison with the other industries.