Around a half million people work in Cambodia’s garment industry, which earns some U.S. $4.6 billion a year producing goods for Western clothing firms.
The garment industry is Cambodia’s third-largest currency earner, but workers often work long shifts for little pay, trade unions complain.
In March the Cambodian government announced a higher minimum wage of U.S. $80 per month from U.S. $61 for garment and footwear workers, though unions had originally demanded U.S. $120.
This week, Prime Minister Hun Sen cautioned about job losses if manufacturers quit the country over wage demands.
The warning came as 3,000 workers at a garment factory in Phnom Penh supplying Swedish clothing brand H&M sealed off a national highway to back demands for better salaries and working conditions.