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Cambodian garment workers are fighting for a monthly wage of $177.

 

Current wage is $128 per month.

 

That's why so many Phnom Penh bargirls won't have sex with customers.   A pretty young girl who doesn't want to prostitute hersef is quite content to flirt with guys in the bar if she's making at least 5 USD a day.

A typical bargirl salary is 75 USD a month and tips and ladydrink commissions can up that past a sweatshop salary with much better working conditions.

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attachicon.gifminimum_wage.jpg

Cambodian garment workers are fighting for a monthly wage of $177.

Current wage is $128 per month.

That's why so many Phnom Penh bargirls won't have sex with customers. A pretty young girl who doesn't want to prostitute hersef is quite content to flirt with guys in the bar if she's making at least 5 USD a day.

A typical bargirl salary is 75 USD a month and tips and ladydrink commissions can up that past a sweatshop salary with much better working conditions.

i still find it confusing in PP as to who will let you fuck them or who will only give you a BJ, kind of frustrating especially after being in LOS where everyone is for sale

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attachicon.gifminimum_wage.jpg

 

Cambodian garment workers are fighting for a monthly wage of $177.

 

Current wage is $128 per month.

 

That's why so many Phnom Penh bargirls won't have sex with customers.   A pretty young girl who doesn't want to prostitute hersef is quite content to flirt with guys in the bar if she's making at least 5 USD a day.

A typical bargirl salary is 75 USD a month and tips and ladydrink commissions can up past a sweatshop salary with much better working conditions.

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attachicon.gifminimum_wage.jpg

 

Cambodian garment workers are fighting for a monthly wage of $177.

 

Current wage is $128 per month.

 

That's why so many Phnom Penh bargirls won't have sex with customers.   A pretty young girl who doesn't want to prostitute hersef is quite content to flirt with guys in the bar if she's making at least 5 USD a day.

A typical bargirl salary is 75 USD a month and tips and ladydrink commissions can up past a sweatshop salary with much better working conditions.

 

 

and you were trying to say...????

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Worker safety is not a priority among Cambodian business owners.

 

 

The owner and a supervisor of a Phnom Penh marble warehouse are in police custody and will appear before a municipal judge today, after three of their employees were crushed to death on Tuesday night, police said yesterday.

The male owner – identified by local news website CEN as Chhoeng Toeurng Pinh, 46 – and a female manager of the Xin Yong Thai (Cambodia) Group Co Ltd warehouse in the capital’s Sen Sok district, were arrested after the 7pm incident, said Tum Chhan, an employee who witnessed the accident.

The owner and superviser are both Chinese nationals.

As the three victims unloaded marble off a truck, the heavy stone slid off the highest pallet, fatally crushing their necks and heads, Chhan said.

“Everyone was in shock,” he said.

“It took all the workers about 20 minutes to get them out of the pile of marble.”

Standing near the coffin containing his younger brother, Bora, Thong Morn, 37, said he blamed Xin Yong Thai’s managers for his younger sibling’s death.

Once the funeral ends, Morn plans to speak with the other victims’ families and figure out the amount of compensation they will demand when filing a complaint.

I am angry with the owners, because they did not care about the workers’ safety; they have to make restitution to our family,” Morn said.

“If the employee needs to be provided with some personal protection equipment, if the management did not do that, it’s a big mistake of the management.”

http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/worker-deaths-prompt-arrests

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  • 3 weeks later...

Meanwhile in Burma

 

 

Factories in Myanmar that supply major Western clothing companies are fighting a government proposal to set the country’s first-ever minimum wage at roughly $3.25 a day. At the same time, the brands themselves -- Gap Inc. and H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB among others -- have declined to say where they stand on the proposed rate, which amounts to 40 cents an hour.

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PHNOM PENH (Khmer Times) – Striking workers from a factory that makes Puma brand garments rallied yesterday against a back-to-work order.

Roughly 200 garment workers from Akeen Tex Pte., located in western Phnom Penh’s Canadia Industrial Park, protested the order as they marked the  second week of their strike.

“Puma brand needs to give a solution to workers,” read signs held up by the striking workers, overwhelmingly women.

On Friday, the Municipal Court told the workers to go back to their jobs, saying they had rioted during a protest July 9.

“I joined this gathering because the court also accused us of doing illegal riots by blocking public roads,” said Ly Mey, one of the garment workers. “We did not block the road as accused. We just sat outside the factory and refused to work.”

Canadia Industrial Park is located on Veng Sreng Boulevard. It waws the site of massive protets by workers last year that left several people dead.

“We went on a peaceful protest to demand for our survival,” said Van Sohanh, 40, from the same factory.

She requested the court resolve the issue “with justice, and no taking bribes. The factory, which has money, wins, while workers who do not have money lose.”

The issue is largely over contracts and severance pay. At present, contracts are for five years and severance is $40. The worker want one year contracts and $70 in severance, about 2.5 weeks of pay.

http://www.khmertimeskh.com/news/13502/striking-garment-workers-target-puma/

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The powers that be seem to e saying that they can exploit labour more effectively in other neighboring countries.  But if we look at these numbers on a per capita basis it appears that Cambodia is number one in garment exports.

 

 

 

PHNOM PENH, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's garment industry is struggling to stay competitive due to low productivity, labor unrest and rising wages, according to a report by the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) on Tuesday.

 
Vietnamese and Indonesian factories are significantly more productive than Cambodian factories, said the association.
 
Bangladesh fares worse on the productivity scale at 50 percent, although the country still exports around 25 billion U.S. dollars worth of garments a year, compared to some 21 billion U.S. dollars from Vietnam and only 5.5 billion U.S. dollars from Cambodia, it added.
 
Among the key factors impacting Cambodia's productivity when compared to competing countries is the number of holidays mandated by law in Cambodia. 

http://www.khmertimeskh.com/news/14014/cambodian-garment-industry-struggling-for-competitiveness/

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More than 70 workers from a Korean-owned massage centre in the tourist hub of Siem Reap protested in front of their workplace yesterday, demanding a basic wage of $177 per month and a $100 yearly health bonus.

 
Workers from the Alaska Massage Center have been on strike since Friday following their employer’s repeated refusal to increase wages, said Eang Kenghuy, a masseur and the head of the centre’s Cambodian Food and Service Workers’ Federation (CFSWF) union chapter.
 
“The authorities asked workers to suspend our strike for a month to find a resolution. But we have not agreed because we have been asking our employer for higher wages and health bonuses since February, but we have had no results,” he said.
 
The workers appear to have chosen their $177 demand after independent garment unions pushed for the same figure as the sector’s minimum wage for the last two years.
 
Garment workers are the only employees in the Kingdom who have a set minimum wage, which was raised to $140 a month for 2016 from the current $128 rate.
 
Kenghuy said that the massage workers only make between $50 and $70 a month, which is not enough to live on given rising prices.
 
“Since we’ve started working here, we have have never received health bonuses and our wages are so low that we cannot support our living standards,” he said.
 
“The employer receives a lot of money from the clients, so they should think about workers’ living standards.”
 
However, the owners of the massage centre appear unrelenting.
 
Kim Timkyung, an interpreter for the owners, said the workers’ demands were “illegal” and contrary to the Labour Law.
 
“The demand to increase their basic wage to $177 per month is not right, because the Cambodian Labour Law states that workers who work for the service industry, especially in tourism, do not have a minimum wage,” he said.
 
“They don’t have any evidence or whatever to show us for their demands,” accusing the CFSWF of instigating the strike.
 
However, CFSWF president Sar Mora rejected the charge, saying the situation boiled over because of employers’ refusal to increase wages.
 
“The workers have the right to strike,” he said, adding that all workers have the right to demand a minimum wage.
 
“Up to now, we know that the government has set a basic wage only for the garment and footwear industry, but it does not mean workers from other industries do not have a right to demand their own basic wage.”
 
Mora said the workers would continue their protest until they received concessions.
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The ruling elite cracking down on workers in Cambodia because they want their wages raised by $8 a month (that's 10 baht a day folks).

 

 

Svay Rieng provincial court yesterday charged seven people for allegedly damaging a fire truck and injuring police officers during an unruly workers strike in Bavet town.

 
The decision came as many garment workers returned to their factories in Bavet’s special economic zones (SEZs) after a forced two-day shutdown to quell unrest following repeated clashes between police and protesters demanding higher wages.
 
Provincial penal police director Kim Lai alleged the six men – truck drivers for the garment factories arrested on Wednesday – and Chao Sakorn, a female garment worker detained on Thursday, attacked several police officers and damaged a fire truck on Tuesday, during the worst of the clashes.
 
“They were sent to court and charged with three different offences including intentional violence with aggravating circumstance, damage, and incitement,” Lai said, alleging Sakorn, 20, was among the most “cruel” protesters.
 
Lai said the group had been sent to the provincial prison, while more suspects were being sought over the violence, which left two police officers seriously injured.
 
“[We] are looking for other people involved with the case,” Lai said, adding that there was “enough evidence” for more arrests.
 
The seven accused join another four men charged with similar offenses on Monday for allegedly throwing rocks during the protests.
 
Thousands of garment workers from Bavet’s Manhattan and Tai Seng SEZs began striking last week, demanding next year’s minimum wage for the sector be raised to $148 rather than the $140 set by the government in October.
 
The apparently leaderless protests climaxed on Tuesday, after which authorities ordered workers to stay home for two days.
 
They also pledged to release on bail the four men charged on Monday, though the group remained in jail as of last night, according to their defence lawyer, Heng Bun.
 
Yesterday, Nouth Bopinnaroath, a provincial coordinator for rights group Licadho, said about 50 protesters had returned to work.
 
However, Ken Loo, secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, said the number was higher.
 
“Workers in all factories but one are back at work, and in most factories the attendance is at least 80 per cent,” Loo said.

http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/police-officers-stand-watch-over-detained-factory-employees-monday

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This was an alternative to working in a garment factory.  The founder of the company hit upon this idea when working as a Morman missionary in Phnom Penh.

Breast milk exports suspended

Cambodia has temporarily stopped an American company from exporting locally pumped human breast milk after reports highlighted how some of the country’s poorest women were supplementing their income through the trade.
 

Utah-based company Ambrosia Labs claims to be the first of its kind to export human breast milk sourced overseas into the United States for mothers who want to supplement their babies’ diets or cannot supply enough of their own milk.
 

The milk is collected in Cambodia, frozen and shipped to the US where it is pasteurized and sold by the company for $20 each 150g pack.
 

But yesterday Cambodia’s customs department confirmed it had halted exports.
 

“We have asked the company to contact the Ministry of Health because the product comes from a human organ, so it needs permission from the Ministry of Health, but they did not get it yet,” said Kun Nhem, the general director of Customs and Excise.
 

He said government officials were planning to meet soon to “determine a policy about the product because it is a bit sensitive.”
 

AFP visited the offices of Ambrosia Labs last week in Stung Meanchey, a poor suburb in Phnom Penh.
 

The office, which uses the name Khun Meada, was shuttered. Local women who sold their milk said they had been told business operations had been suspended, but they did not know why.
 

Chea Sam, a 30-year-old mother, said she had been selling her breast milk for the last three months following the birth of her son.
 

“I got my milk pumped six days per week and I earned between 30,000 to 40,000 riel ($7.5-$10) a day based on the quantity of our breast milk,” she said.
 

“I am poor and selling breast milk helped me a lot,” she added.
 

“We all cried when the company informed us about the suspension. We want it to be in business,” she added, saying she knew of at least 20 other mothers who made money through their milk.
 

Ambrosia Labs did not respond to requests for comment.
 

But in an interview with a Cambodia-based reporter published on Vice.com last week, co-founder Bronzson Woods defended the business.
 

He said he hit upon the idea while working in the country as a Mormon missionary and that his company encouraged local women to continue breastfeeding and provide a steady income.

http://www.khmertimeskh.com/news/36698/breast-milk-exports-suspended/

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PHNOM PENH -- With Cambodia's national elections fast approaching, garment workers who had largely backed the opposition in the last poll say they are being coerced to vote and face hostility if they abstain, as the ruling party tries to paint the ballot as democratic.

Few groups have received Prime Minister Hun Sen's attention like the 700,000-strong garment sector. Many of these workers voted for the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party in 2013 and took part in post-election protests that led to the deaths of at least five people when security forces fired into the crowds. The CNRP, the only realistic threat to Hun Sen's 33-year reign, was outlawed last year.

Now workers in the garment sector say they are being hassled by bosses to cast their votes on July 29 or face consequences. A garment worker who only wanted to be identified as Sreymom on fears for her job said a supervisor warned that factory bosses would check for evidence that staff had voted.

"I heard that we need to show the management team our fingers. If they are not inked, we will face problems," said Sreymom who voted for CNRP in 2013. "If the management tells us when to leave, I have to obey."

Despite the dissolution of the CNRP and the imprisonment of its leader, Kem Sokha, on widely discredited claims the party was attempting to wage a U.S.-backed revolution, the ruling Cambodian People's Party has been anxious to present the upcoming election as legitimate.

Fearful of a drastically lower voter turnout in comparison to the last national and community elections, Hun Sen has been making efforts to ensure Cambodians do not pay heed to a "clean fingers" campaign waged by exiled opposition figures calling for the electorate to boycott the vote. One CPP official, Ieng Mouly, has called anyone who refuses to vote a "traitor." Very few of the roughly 1.5 million Cambodian migrant workers are also expected to return home to vote.

Hun Sen has attempted to win favor with workers since the 2013 ballot with wage hikes, bonuses and free transport. The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training last month instructed factories to give workers three days off on full pay to cast their votes.

But it's not yet clear how many workers will indeed use their holiday to cast their vote for the CPP or one of 19 other minor opposition parties, some of which have been accused of being "puppet parties" of the incumbent.

Sreymom said she would return to her home province of Prey Veng on the Vietnamese border to avoid any repercussions. "I am afraid they will label me as an opposition supporter," she said. "These days, you don't want to be outspoken or in the spotlight alone. You need to follow the trend so that you are not targeted."

Bun Chanda, 30, who earns around $200 a month in a Phnom Penh factory, said the deadly crackdown on post-election protesters in January 2014 had instilled fear among garment workers.

"Since the violence in 2014, nobody dares to protest. [We are] afraid of expressing our concerns," she said. "Now we go with the wind. If the factory instructs us to show the ink, we will follow."

Yet, migrant workers who back the CNRP have not come under the same pressure.

Hang Puthea, spokesman for the National Election Committee, claimed he did not know the percentage of migrant workers who had registered to vote. In October, two weeks before registration closed, The Phnom Penh Post reported that nearly three-quarters of eligible voters had not signed up. Political analyst Meas Nee said Cambodian officials on the Thai border told him that less than 10% of migrant workers had registered to vote.

In recent months, Cambodians living in Japan, South Korea, the U.S., France and New Zealand have held demonstrations demanding the reinstatement of the CNRP. A petition with more than 12,000 signatures was delivered to the Japanese Embassy in Bangkok on Wednesday to request Tokyo withdraw its financial support for the NEC.

“Migrant Workers in Thailand, both, legal and undocumented workers showed their will via these over 12,000 signatures that they are not prepared to return home to participate in the upcoming election if the political party they love is banned from the political race,” said Mounh Sarath, CNRP public liaison officer in Bangkok, who helped deliver the petition.

Seng Bora, 40, who works as a waiter in the Thai resort city of Pattaya, said he neither had the money nor desire to return this time despite traveling to vote for the CNRP in 2013.

"Nothing will change. I am just without hope so I'd better focus on earning money from another country. It's more stable, realistic, I eat well, and can earn enough to survive. I am so sick of the election," he said. "I thought the Rescue Party would be given a chance to rescue the nation, but now it's been destroyed. What is there to do?"

Hai Sophea, 38, who has been in Thailand for a decade and works at a bakery in Chonburi province, ticked the box of the CNRP in 2013 but would not be returning this time.

"To vote for who? I expected [CNRP] would help the workers like me so I came to vote for them, but now they are completely devastated," she said.

Based on conversations with Cambodians on recent trips to Thailand, political analyst Meas Nee believes apathy toward the election is widespread among migrant workers due to the CNRP's dissolution and the high cost of returning.

"They deserve to see more changes in Cambodia," Nee said. "But also many have been closely integrated into the Thai working system so to take off three days to come for the election is not enough. For some of them that live further than Bangkok, they need almost one week."

The Ministry of Labour did not respond to a request for comment.

Mu Sochua, an exiled CNRP deputy, said the ruling party had little interest in assisting migrant workers to return for the ballot due to their widespread support for her now-defunct party.

"CPP has never cared to have them registered nor return to vote as they know they don't vote for CPP. They see CPP as having failed to address employment issue," she said, adding that the NEC had ignored requests from migrant workers to assist them in casting their vote.

Back in Pattaya, Bora said he hoped the next generation could one day enjoy greater freedoms to choose who leads the country.

"I am uneducated and I'm struggling now, but I don't want my younger generation to follow the same path I experienced," he said.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Drifting-Cambodia/Garment-workers-pressured-to-vote-in-looming-Cambodia-elections

 

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Meanwhile, floodwaters are on the rise in Phnom Penh, where a two-week strike by sanitation workers—which was resolved on Wednesday—has left the city resembling a mashup of Venice and the municipal dump

The Phnom Penh garbage strike has been settled.  It wasn't about wages.  The city is changing sanitation haulers and the workers feared being screwed out of wages and benefits for hours already worked.   The garbagemen make a paltry $180 a month if there is no overtime, a sharp contrast with the ruling elite.

phnompenhflood.jpeg

 

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