On Tuesday, World Day for Decent Work, representatives of Belgian and Cambodian workers for H & M and Zara, and consumer representatives delivered a joint statement to the leaders of the Belgian headquarters of these companies. The initiative aims to highlight solidarity from one end of the supply chain to the other. Through this joint statement, the Cambodian independent union C.CAWDU, the Belgian textile unions, Test-Achats for consumers and the non-profit organization achACT asked H & M and Zara to implement the commitments made with six other European retailers in Cambodia following the launch of the achACT campaign in September 2013.
These groups are calling for the negotiation of a binding collective agreement directly with C.CAWDU to increase the minimum wage from 77 to 137 euros / month, for the cost incurred by higher purchasing prices, and for a guaranteed supply from suppliers that respect workers’ rights.
This meeting is the first step taken by the Cambodian delegation in Europe during the month of October. Carole Crabbé, achACT coordinator, says that “mobilizations are on the rise, but the wage gap is due to inflation. In Cambodia , which receives 70% of its income from the textile industry, the pressure to lower the minimum wage in order avoid losing international clients such as H & M and Zara’s is very high. These 600,000 textile workers can no longer buy enough food and as a result have begun to suffer from blackouts due to the stress.
Andy Sanchez (Source: Belga)