Cambodian unions call for global protests September 17 to raise wages (Full statement translated)

Other languages: Español

Today the coalition of Cambodian garment workers sent an appeal to unions and activists around the world, calling on all of us to join them for an International Day of Action on September 17, 2014. The Union League strongly supports the campaign by our Cambodian affiliate C.CAWDU and all Cambodian unions demanding that multinational brands ensure wages at their Cambodian supplier factories are no less than $177 -- the minimum needed to cover basic needs according to a government-appointed task force. Union League supporters have set up a webpage for planning demonstrations on September 17: Click here to get involved.

Below is the English translation of the statement released by the Cambodian union coalition. (Download PDF: Original Khmer | English translation)

Check back soon for updates and further information.

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KMU joins Union League: NXP workers continue struggle for justice

The International Union League for Brand Responsibility is proud to announce our newest member, the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU, May First Movement) hailing from the Philippines! With support from labor activists like you, the League continues to build a broad coalition of workers ready to take on the transnational corporations that must take responsibility for the labor of workers who make their licensed apparel.

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Workers win $1.5 million after El Salvador factory closes to dodge collective bargaining

Here, we translate a report from the El Salvador-based Center for Labor Studies & Support (CEAL in Spanish) on an important victory by ex-workers of Manufacturas Del Río. As CEAL had reported previously, the factory suddenly shut down in January without paying nearly $1.5 million (USD) owed to its 1,066 employees in wages, benefits, and severance. The workers sewed products for Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, Lacoste, Levi Strauss, and Adidas. Their union is a founding member of the Union League and joined the founding congress of the Fruit of the Loom Union Network. In El Salvador, a country where not a single apparel factory has signed a union contract, the factory's closure is widely understood as cynical retaliation against workers who dared to claim their legal right to collectively bargain. (Photo: Elected leaders of workers' union at Manufacturas Del Rio during a meeting at CEAL.)

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#ChinaSolidarity: 48,000 workers on strike largest Adidas & Nike shoe manufacturer

Below:

Urgent updates:

  • April 23: In addition to detaining various worker activists, authorities in Dongguan have imprisoned NGO leaders Zhang Zhiru and Lin Dong in retaliation for informing workers about their rights to negotiate with management.
By Teresa Cheng, field organizer for the International Union League for Brand Responsibility.

A major struggle for worker justice has erupted in China. In the largest industrial action in China's recent history, some 48,000 workers are entering the second week of their massive strike. Their employer, Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings, calls itself the world's top manufacturer of sports footwear.

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Arrested Union Leader Vorn Pao's Letter from Cambodian Prison

"Pao went to help those arrested in front of Yakjin factory ... they wanted to arrest him because he is a leader. They caught him and he was beaten unconscious ... the police poured water on his face to make him conscious to continue to beat him." — Pao's wife 

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Indonesia: Workers Protest Adidas for Unfair Firings on International Women's Day

For International Women's Day, unjustly fired PDK workers who produced clothing for Adidas staged a protest demanding full reinstatement, payment of back wages for period of unemployment, health benefits, and immediate end to all forms of violence and discrimination against women. 

Kokom Komalawati, local union president and unjustly fired PDK worker, writes: 

In commemoration of International Women's Day, women workers from PT Panarub Dwikarya and members of SBGTS - GSBI will conduct a peaceful protest to pressure Adidas. Adidas is a major sponsor in the world cup this year. As we know, Adidas is targeting a profit of 14 trillion this year and this profit is a result of the labour of workers, including the 1300 workers of PT. Panarub Dwikarya, of which 99 % are women, who were unjustly terminated for participating in a strike to demand their rights. This case has remained unresolved for over 16 months now and Adidas continues to escape responsibility. The PDK workers will continue their struggle by staging peaceful protests every two weeks.

DEMANDS:

 → Reinstatement of the 1300 PDK workers

 → Pay the wages of the month August 2012 - present

 → Provide health benefits

 → Stop all forms of violence and discrimination against women!

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Global Solidarity With Cambodian Workers!

(Photos credit Ron Carver, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Four Regions Slum Network, and KCTU)
Other languages: Español

In the end of 2013, hundreds of thousands of Cambodian garment workers bravely went on strike to demand a living wage for their work. The Cambodian government responded with violence and repression. Military police opened fire on peaceful protesters, killing at least 4 people and a number of workers and union leaders were beaten and arrested. Last month unionists and activists gathered at Cambodian Embassies around the world to stand in solidarity with Cambodian workers demanding that the government stop violence against workers, drop the charges against unjustly imprisoned union leaders and activists, and raise the minimum wage to $160 per month.

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Death threats and union-busting at Walmart in Argentina

Other languages: Español

Santa Fe Walmart workers, some leaders of the Lista Celeste y Blanca.Walmart has continued its global crackdown on workers organizing for better conditions, denying freedom of association to hundreds of workers in Argentina. The union-busting campaign culminated in death threats, especially worrisome following the murder of a union activist at a Walmart contractor earlier this month elsewhere in Latin America.

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2013: A year in victories for garment workers worldwide

Happy holidays! On behalf of our garment workers' unions in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, we hope you will join us in celebrating everything we have accomplished together in 2013.

Please share this page with friends and family, and begin a monthly donation to help us make far greater steps forward for our coworkers and our families in 2014.

 

1. Workers at Adidas contract factories joined forces across in 11 countries.

Launched in February, "Adidas Workers Unite!" is our first truly global union network. It builds on the early successes of regional union networks in Central America and the Caribbean by workers in the supply chains of Gildan Activewear and Fruit of the Loom. In October, the Adidas workers across the globe held their first-ever synchronized protests at Adidas stores, offices and contractors, in a show of horizontal international solidarity.

(Photo: Workers of Adidas' main football cleat supplier PT Panarub protest outside the brand's office in Jakarta, Indonesia. October 7, 2013.)

 

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Global worker protests demand justice from Adidas

More information:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 21, 2013.

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