December 10, 2015
Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (C.CAWDU)
We support your demand for US$177 per month minimum wage
WE trade unionists unite on this day to support your campaign demand for a minimum wage for Apparel workers of U$177 per month.
We salute the 700,000 apparel workers in Cambodia, 90 per cent of them women, who are the backbone of the Cambodian export economy.
We are appalled that you have to suffer low wages, anti-union discrimination, the anti-worker Draft Trade Union Law, abuse of short-term contracts and grossly inadequate social protection.
We salute you for the brave campaign of 2014-15 which has already achieved a minimum wage of US$128 per month, but this wage is far too low to even feed you and your families, and represents gross exploitation by the capitalists.
We are shocked that a 2014 ILO study found that 43.2 per cent of garment workers surveyed suffer from anemia and 15.7 per cent of workers are underweight according to the Asian Body Mass Index (BMI). As a result, many workers faint from lack of nutrition and heat, live in crowded homes, and cannot afford hospital care or education for their children, or provide support for parents in the province.
Your recent Survey on Consumption Expenditure of Garment & Footwear Workers in Cambodia showed that the median consumption expenditure for one garment worker is US$207.50 per month, and this should be the minimum wage.
Your Day of Action on the Minimum Wage on October 7 was a wonderful mobilization and expression of unity of the workers, and achieved a new offer from the capitalists of US$140 per month, a grossly inadequate offer.
May your action today make the breakthrough to US$177 as a real step forward for Apparel Workers in Cambodia, toward your major objectives of a genuine minimum wage, and for negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreements with the major global brands who are your real employers.
May your struggle today open the pathway for all Cambodian workers to win a genuine minimum wage, freedom of association and collective bargaining rights.
WORKINS – International League of People’s Struggles
Download pdf WORKINS Cambodian Apparel Workers support message