Major Brands Confront Cambodian Leader Over Use of Force

A coalition of 30 brands and three global unions have sent a letter to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen calling for an investigation into the recent use of deadly force against striking garment-sector workers.

The letter, dated Friday, urged the government to launch a new process to set minimum wages and to respect the rights of workers and trade unions. The brands also asked for a meeting with Mr. Hun Sen himself.

The letter represented a widening attempt by international brands, including the Walt Disney Co. DIS -0.31% , Wal-Mart Stores Inc., WMT -0.74% Nike Inc. NKE -1.87% andMarks & Spencer Group MKS.LN +1.78% PLC, to use their influence to force change in the Southeast Asian country’s largest formal-sector employer and export industry.

A day later, security forces forcibly cleared a central rallying site in a park where an opposition party that had received support from the unions was calling for new elections, effectively quelling what had been a strengthening convergence between the opposition and unions on the streets. …

Kate O'keeffe and Sun Narin