Cambodia: garment workers hit by COVID-19

Spokesperson of the Cambodian Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training Heng Sour said over 50 factories have filed for work suspension, affecting nearly 30,000 workers, the Phnom Penh Post reported.

26, Mar. 2020

Photo by J Williams on Unsplash
Photo by J Williams on Unsplash

PHNOM PENH, VNA - Spokesperson of the Cambodian Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training Heng Sour said over 50 factories have filed for work suspension, affecting nearly 30,000 workers, the Phnom Penh Post reported.

The total may be even higher than that due to the lack of raw materials and buyers, President of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers Pav Sina said.

However, she said the suspensions could work in the employees’ favour because they might be safe from COVID-19 infections.

President of the National Trade Union Confederation (NTUC) Fa Saly said on March 23 that the NTUC would like to appeal to the Cambodian government, especially the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, to temporarily stop workers at workshops, factories and enterprises in Phnom Penh to mitigate the risk of infection spread.

Addressing a press conference last week, Heng Sour said the epidemic would force around 200 factories to close due to the shortage of raw materials, meaning that some 160,000 workers could face joblessness in March and April.

On February 24, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that all workers hired by suspended factories should receive at least 60 percent of the minimum wage. Employers would be required to pay 40 percent while the government would provide the other 20 percent. - VNA