At least 110 garment factories in Cambodia have been closed in the first nine months of the year leaving over 55,000 workers without jobs.
Ngoy Rith, Undersecretary, Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training said as of early September, 111 factories had closed in the garment, footwear and travel product sectors. He added the number of closures was similar to the first nine months of last year, when 110 factories closed.
Rith said the government had been effective in introducing measures to keep factories open in one of the most important sectors of the Cambodian economy. He added that the global market for garment products had been virtually shut down by the Covid-19 pandemic and other factors.
He said the number of suspended employment contracts was gradually subsiding, noting that the number of garment factories that had frozen work contracts had decreased to 52, which affected the incomes of roughly 14,000 workers.
However, Fa Saly, President, National Trade Union Confederation, said the actual numbers might be higher than the figures released by the labor ministry and that more Cambodian workers were losing their jobs and incomes each day. Saly said even though Cambodia is under the General System of Preferences (GSP) program, which will facilitate imports to the UK starting in January, he was still not optimistic.
He called on the government to seriously address these problems and ensure that the Kingdom’s workforce has good working conditions and more jobs.