Today, 219 Kingsland garment workers were paid almost
$235,000 from Walmart and H&M suppliers, plus the sale of the factory
When the struggle began, H&M and Walmart both sent
statements to the CLEC saying they ended their relationships with Kingsland
Garment Co. in September, and had "paid in full," so they had no
responsibility for what happened to the workers afterwards.
But the Kingsland workers refused to allow the brands an
easy way out. Their determination and great sacrifices proved fruitful today as
over 200 workers lined up at the shuttered factory to collect the money they
have been owed. The victory makes one of the first times in history that
Western brands have taken responsibility for labor problems at their supplier
After months of sleeping outside the illegally shuttered
factory in Phnom Penh, protests at the US and Swedish embassies, several demonstrations
at the H&M office, international support from allies in Hong Kong and the
US, road blocks, and finally a hunger strike, workers today received
compensation in their hard fought battle for justice.
"We are just so
very happy. The last 3 months have been very difficult with no money and no
homes" said Oun Boi, who has worked at the factory for 10 years.
"Thanks to the CLEC and all those that helped us in our struggle. Today,
the brands are taking responsibility and we are happy for that."