Cambodian Trade Union warns protest to demand release of arrested members

Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers (FTU) warned Tuesday to stage a protest if the authority does not release its eight members who were arrested by police on Monday during a demonstration at a Taiwanese-owned garment factory, a union leader said. … FTU’s president Chea Mony said… “They did not incite or trigger violence during the demonstration, but police arrested them.” “The country has its law. They were arrested for inciting workers to trigger violence and destruction to properties in the factory during the demonstration, we have video clips and photographs as evidences to support our arrest” [spokesman for the National Military Police Kheng Tito]. … Garment protests are common in Cambodia in order to demand wage increases and better working conditions. Currently, the monthly minimum wage for a worker is 80 U.S. dollars. The industry is the country’s largest income earner, representing more than 80 percent of the country’s exports. The latest report of the Ministry of Commerce showed that to date, the country has about 500 garment and footwear factories employing some 510,600 workers. Last year, the country exported those products worth 4.6 billion U.S. dollars mainly to the U.S. and Europe, up 8 percent year-on-year.