"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
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.