On Monday, November 10, 2014, the Fair Labor Association sent a letter to Deputy Prime Minister Keat Chhon in support of “objective, inclusive, and productive national wage-setting negotiations that result in a minimum wage that is fair for workers” that was signed by nine FLA-affiliated companies sourcing from Cambodia.
Putting action behind their words of support, each of the nine brands used the letter to reinforce their commitment to purchasing practices that build sustainable supply chains, affirming that they would incorporate locally negotiated wage increases into their prices.
For the past year, workers in Cambodia have been pushing for a higher minimum wage in that country. At the beginning of 2014, after garment workers in Cambodia had gone on strike demanding a minimum wage of $160 per month, Cambodian security forces responded with deadly force, killing at least three garment workers, while injuring and imprisoning many others.
At that time, the FLA, along with many brands and unions, denounced these actions by the Cambodian government. Throughout the year unions, NGOs, journalists, and many others have pointed out how low wages in Cambodia contribute to many other serious issues that affect workers’ well-being, including malnutrition, excessive overtime, and poor industrial relations.
“For their leadership on this issue, we thank the nine brands that have spoken out in support of fair wages and meaningful collective bargaining,” said Claudia Coenjaerts, president of the FLA. “We want the government of Cambodia to know that we and our affiliates will be following this issue very closely. We want to see that workers’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining are upheld in Cambodia, and that the wage negotiations result in a fair and livable minimum wage.”
The nine brands to sign the letter are adidas Group; Ash City/alphabroder; Creative Apparel Concepts, Inc.; J. America, Inc.; Nike; New Balance; prAna; Puma; and Tailgate Clothing Company. Download the complete letter below.