Last week a nationwide labor strike among garment workers within 120 factories across Cambodia stalled production. Workers are protesting recent government passage of a 19 percent increase in the minimum wage to $95 per month. Labor unions were demanding an increase to $160 per month, a considerable difference. An industry association urged factory operators to suspend operations for the entire week for fear of worker violence or damage to factory facilities.
Cambodia is another low-cost manufacturing source for apparel supply chains, along with Bangladesh, and according to the Wall Street Journal the country has 795 garment and footwear factories employing upwards of 600,000 workers.
The WSJ cites the Garment Manufacturers Association as indicating that workers have organized 131 labor strike actions from January through November of this year.
The current situation in Cambodia provides added concern for apparel and footwear supply chains as social responsibility activism continues among prime low-cost manufacturing regions.