Research by ActionAid and CENTRAL reveals that as sneaker prices rise, Cambodian workers' wages plummet, pushing them further into poverty. The report, "Stitched under Strain," condemns the fashion industry for prioritizing profits over workers' rights. Cambodian garment laborers demand a wage increase to cover basic needs like food and housing. Clean Clothes Campaign affiliates, including ActionAid and CENTRAL, call on international brands to ensure fair wages for Cambodian workers in their supply chains.
The study exposes systemic wage loss and reduced working hours since the pandemic, affecting even major brands like Nike and Adidas. Monthly take-home pay, including overtime, has dwindled. Overtime pay has dropped by over 60%, leaving workers with just $12 extra per month in 2023.
85% of workers struggle to make ends meet, with nearly 50% skipping meals. 91% hold current loans, blaming pandemic-induced economic insecurity. Some resort to high-interest informal loans, even borrowing from supervisors.
Brands like Nike and Adidas profit greatly while their Cambodian workforce remains impoverished. Workers, mostly women, work six days a week but can't meet basic needs. Brands must ensure fair wages and support workers' demands for a higher minimum wage.
The current minimum wage fails to cover daily expenses, and wages have fallen since COVID-19. Cambodian workers rally for change, seeking support from international brands to end their cycle of poverty. Brands must act immediately to fulfill their commitment to decent living wages for workers. No one making clothes for popular brands should live in working poverty.