When garment factories in Phnom Penh resumed operations last month after the lockdown, officials and factory owners insisted workers would be safe. Factories were to divide workers into two shifts to allow for adequate social distancing; and testing, tracing, and vaccinations would help contain the spread of COVID-19.
Many of the thousands of garment workers now under Cambodia’s strictest COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are finding themselves unpaid, suspended indefinitely from the capital area’s hundreds of factories and, as of yet, with little help from outside.
Cambodian apparel and footwear sector groups and the EU’s business chamber in Cambodia have appealed to the European Union to postpone its partial suspension of duty-free trade with Cambodia due to the effects of the Covid-19 crisis on Cambodia’s economy.
Garment manufacturers this week lobbied for more cost-saving policies to offset the rise in the sector’s minimum wage.