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Fixed Duration Contracts (FDCs) - a Cancer on the Cambodian Garment Industry 

2012-10-12 - CLEC

"We worry about our children...It is difficult because we go to work and have housework at home. Even when we do not feel good, they force us into overtime. If we do not they blame us. If we do not we don’t have enough money. If we take leave we face termination."

In collaboration with the World Solidarity Movement, CLEC conducted a study circle on the role and impact of the widespread use of fixed duration contracts in the Cambodian garment industry. 40 garment workers from Phnom Penh’s Mean Chey District met to discuss the exploitation and hardship that comes with uncertain short term employment. Issues with poverty wages, lost benefits, forced overtime, mass and consistent fainting and threats against collective bargaining were raised and will form part of the upcoming WSM policy paper on the use of short-term FDCs throughout the region.

The use of fixed duration contracts in excess of 2 years is illegal under the Cambodian Labor Law, yet 95% of Cambodian garment workers are handcuffed to the demands of their employers with exploitative FDCs and the resulting poverty.

Despite assurances from international brands that garments produced in Cambodia are not the product of forced labor, the practice is a reality for the 400,000 Khmer workers employed under FDCs. Whilst these brands count profits often equal to half of Cambodia’s GDP, garment workers and their children are denied their basic human needs and human dignity. 

Ongoing FDCs are illegal and those factory owners and brands implicated in this practice will be held accountable.