Fired for striking

published 03-10-2013 14:16, last modified 10-10-2013 14:10
In 2010, after a four-day strike for an increased minimum wage, hundreds of workers and union leaders in Cambodia were sacked when they wanted to resume work. Hundreds have by now been reinstated, but over a hundred workers are yet to be re-employed. In 2012 CCC was in ongoing contact with brands to get manufacturers to rehire workers who have been dismissed.
“For decades, global fashion brands have made excuses about why they shouldn't pay a living wage. But it is not a choice, it’s a pressing necessity. Hiding behind the economic crisis and company codes of conduct is no longer acceptable when talking about human rights violations.”

Jeroen Merk, International Clean Clothes Campaign

In 2010, Cambodian garment workers went on strike to demand higher minimum wages. Evidence shows that although the monthly minimum wage for Cambodia's factory workers is 61 USD, a 'living wage' – enough to cover a worker's basic needs and the needs of his or her family – is more than four times this amount.

In 2012 CCC was in ongoing contact with brands, asking them to use their leverage on factories and manufacturers to hire back the Cambodian workers who were dismissed after the strike. The Clean Clothes Campaign started a Europe-wide campaign called No More Excuses to demand that companies pay sweatshop workers in Cambodia enough to lift them out of poverty.

CCC organised solidarity and awareness-raising actions in various countries including France, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, where activists 'fainted' in front of the entry doors of big retailers that produce their clothes in Cambodia.
In 2013, CCC will step up its campaign for a Living Wage

The miserable conditions faced by Cambodian factory workers producing goods for fashion retailers

Strike in Cambodia
Speaking out for a living wage
were revealed in a documentary focussing on H&M and aired on Swedish national television in October 2012.

You can watch the documentary with English subtitles here.

See also:

Swooning over fashion? Announcing the No More Excuses campaign
Garment workers in Cambodia on strike (2010)

And a recent report from Labour behind the Label (CCC United Kingdom) on the faintings

What do companies and Multi Stakeholder Initiaves think of the CCC? *

“CCC has been one of the defining influences on code of conduct over the last 10 years. Codes of conduct have moved from being a fringe idea to a central plank of single CSR policy in the industry. A large part of that is because CCC internationally have been a champion for the role of brands taking action... and have placed and kept the issue in the public domain.”

“CCC have had impact by raising our awareness, triggering the development of our code of conduct and our subsequent mechanisms on monitoring, disclosure practises, decision to join MSI, training and follow-up.”

“If there is a critical situation in a factory that we have not become aware of ourselves, we do of course react immediately, if this is brought to our attention by CCC.”

“All activities raise awareness but do not change policies, urgent appeals have most impact to improve or change the way of working with a supplier or improve a situation if needed.”

* Quotes from internal report that assesses how Clean Clothes Campaign's labour rights corporate accountability work, including the Urgent Appeal system, has impacted corporate behavior between 1994 and 2010.

Pins Brown, 2010. Impact Assessment of Corporate Accountability Activities of Clean Clothes Campaign. Unpublished report on file.