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

just-style market research sale

Are you planning for the year ahead and beyond? Well this week we’re offering great deals on some of our market research......

BLOG

Gearing up for the holiday shopping season

The volume of US apparel imports saw an increase in October on the prior year as retailers geared up for the holiday shopping season. Bangladesh booked the second highest growth behind India, reversin...

BLOG

Innovations to boost sustainability

Hong Kong-based textile and apparel giant Esquel Group, the world's largest woven shirt maker, is pushing ahead with the pursuit of sustainable and holistic quality. ...

BLOG

Sign up to try new re:source apparel sourcing tool for free

The old saying "Good things come to those who wait" is certainly true for re:source, the new suite of data-driven sourcing tools being developed by the team here at just-style....

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?