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Walmart and H&M: Kingsland Workers will Commence Hunger Strike 

2013-02-27 - CLEC



Hundreds of Phnom Penh workers are camping outside their shuttered garment factory to demand Walmart and H&M pay them the wages they are owed. This week they launch a hunger strike. Photo: James McCormick.
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The Community Legal Education Center (CLEC) would like to express its concern for the health and well-being of workers at Kingsland Garment Cambodia Ltd. Yesterday, workers issued a letter to Walmart and H&M representatives informing that they will commence a hunger strike on Thursday, 28 February, 2013.

The international brands have confirmed their participation in a conciliation meeting regarding outstanding payments of almost US$200,000 owed by their supplier who suddenly closed its doors last December. The conciliation meeting will be held on Friday, 1 March, 2013. 

In response workers issued a letter expressing their disappointment with current offers of compensation, which in some cases is less than a third of what is required under the Cambodian Labor Law (1997). The letter goes on to state “we cannot accept this and write to inform you that we will go on hunger strike starting Thursday, 28 February, 2013. This will continue until there is a resolution in our case – one that is acceptable for everyone.” 

In an attempt to ensure payments, workers at the shuttered garment factory have maintained a 24-hour vigil, repeatedly blocked major roads and gathered en-masse to submit petitions to Swedish and US embassies. 

Despite the workers’ hardship and frustration, Walmart and H&M have yet to accept responsibility for the payments owed by their supplier. 

Many of the already impoverished workers have been sleeping in front of the factory for the last two months. With no income for food, interrupted sleep and the great stress the situation has placed on them, their health is already a great concern. 

CLEC expects Walmart and H&M to find a resolution to this situation during Friday’s meeting. 

CLEC expects that Walmart and H&M will not merely observe but actively participate in Friday’s meeting to ensure legal payment as required under their respective Standards for Suppliers and Code of Conduct.  The urgency of the situation demands immediate resolution.

 

For more information please contact:

Mr. Tola Moeun, Head of Labor Program, +855 66 777 056; or

Mr. Joel Preston, Consultant, CLEC, +855 66 777 037

 

 



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