Blog: Leonie BarrieCambodia's conundrum

Leonie Barrie | 9 May 2007

Cambodia’s clothing manufacturers are caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, they fear the country’s high overheads and wages make it difficult to compete with cheaper countries such as Bangladesh and Vietnam. On the other, though, there is also a danger that labour disputes could damage investment and dissuade retailers and importers from doing business with the country’s garment industry.

The sector has recently been hit by attacks on labour leaders, including the murders of three union bosses, which has prompted complaints from several international companies doing business in Cambodia, including Eddie Bauer, Gap, Hennes & Mauritz, Liz Claiborne and Phillips-Van Heusen. They say they are concerned about “what appears to be a pattern of violence against union leaders in the country,” and that a “swift, just and transparent” investigation will ensure “a stable business environment for us to continue to source our products.”

The companies were reacting to the February assassination of Hu Vuthy, president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia (FTUWKC) as he left the Suntex garment factory. Hy Vuthy is the third FTUWKC official to be assassinated in three years. Chea Vichea, the union's president, was shot dead in January 2004 by two men on a motorbike. In May 2004 Ros Sovannarith, the FTUWKC president at the Trinunggal Komara factory, was similarly murdered by two men on a motorbike. In addition, Hy Vuthy's murder comes after at least five violent attacks in 2006 against FTUWKC officials at Suntex and the neighboring Bright Sky factory, also owned by Ocean Sky.

CAMBODIA: Plans to amend garment labour law lead to strike threats


BLOG

A deep dive to unlocking digitisation's potential

So far, the promise of digitisation in the apparel industry remains largely unfulfilled. But with opportunities for new cheap supplier countries nearly exhausted, it is now seen as offering sourcing e...

BLOG

Kingpins Goes to DC – Watch now

The challenges and opportunities facing today’s textile and apparel industry is also explored in the second in a series of expert panel discussions that is now available to watch on demand...

BLOG

Industry outlook positive but disruptive

How is the global apparel sourcing landscape changing? According to executives at last month’s MAGIC fashion trade show in the US, "speed-to-market," "product differentiation" and "inventory control" ...

BLOG

Speed-to-market can be slow to achieve

It's easy for brands and retailers to see how they can potentially benefit from a successful speed-to-market program – but the irony is that without the support of strategic suppliers, it can be a lon...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?