Violence breaks out among Cambodian garment workers

Cambodian garment workers demanding better wages received an unsettling response from military police who opened fire with assault rifles.

According to Reuters, the live ammunition left four people dead and over 20 wounded. Bullet casings were found at the Canadia Industrial Park in Phnom Penh. The factories in that area make clothes for brands that include Adidas, Puma, and H&M Hennes & Mauritz.

Outsourcing the work to Cambodian factories is common, and garment manufacturing is a necessary form of income for families in Cambodia. Many, who live in the rural communities, say that they cannot survive with wages that are much lower than those received for similar work in Thailand or Vietnam. After two days of nationwide strikes, their rallies finally erupted as workers threw stones and bottles.

More than 500 garment factories were on strike in Cambodia, demanding a minimum wage of $160 per month. Unions representing the workers have joined supporters who oppose current government policies. Current policies include a wage of only $100 per month, according to The New York Times.

Image: Wikimedia Commons.

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