Global alliance of Filipino migrant workers and im/migrants Migrante International called on all its chapters, members and networks around the world to boycott all products of garment factories in Cambodia as a symbolic protest against the Cambodian government’s unjust treatment and violence against its workers.
On January 2, workers of the Yak Jin factory held a protest asking for salary increase from their current meager wages of USD$80. Soldiers threatened the protesters with “metal pipes, knives, AK47 rifles, slingshots and batons”. Some 10 people, including monks, were arrested.
The next day, soldiers opened fire and launched grenades at protesting workers at the Canadia industrial park. The violent dispersal left four workers dead, 21 wounded and 23 arrested by Cambodian authorities.
The Cambodian garment factory employs an estimated 500,000 workers, mostly women workers from rural areas. Garment factories in Cambodia mostly manufacture products for brands such as H&M, Adidas, GAP and Walmart.
Today, January 10, Migrante International joined other workers, sectors and organizations around the world in kicking off the Global Week of Action against Government Crackdown on Cambodian Protesters. In the Philippines, labor and sectoral groups held a picket protest at the Cambodian Embassy in Makati. An all-women protest will be held at the Cambodian Embassy in Makati on January 13.
“We condemn in strongest terms the violent crackdowns and human rights violations of the Cambodian government against the Yak Jin workers. As migrant workers, we express and extend our deepest and most heart-felt solidarity and sympathy with the Cambodian workers and their families against unjust and inhumane working conditions. We hold the Cambodian government and the Yak Jin authorities jointly and solidarily accountable for the deaths, injuries and human rights violations against the workers,” said Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairperson.
“As an act of protest and to express our international indignation, we call on all Filipino compatriots, migrant workers of other nationalities and the freedom-loving public to launch a boycott against products of the Yak Jin company and other Cambodian-based garment factories. ” ###