Cambodian police opens fire on striking garment workers

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-1-3 13:30:56

Cambodian anti-riot police on Friday morning opened fire on striking garment workers, killing at least two protesters and injuring more than 10, according to a right group activist.

Chan Saveth, head of legal aid for rights group Adhoc, said the violence broke out when about 2,000 striking workers blocked a road in front of the Canadia Industrial Park to demand higher wage.

Kheng Tito, spokesman for the National Military Police, could not be immediately reached for confirmation.

According to Xinhua photojournalists at the scene, police opened fire on strikers and several workers were dead, while some others were injured.

Cambodia has closed all garment and shoe factories since Wednesday last week after six pro-opposition trade unions led thousands of workers to go on strikes to demand the government to double the monthly minimum wage in the garment sector to 160 US dollars from the current 80 US dollars.

The government decided on Tuesday to raise the minimum wage in the garment sector to 100 US dollars from the current 80 US dollars a month; however, the six pro-opposition trade unions rejected the offer and vowed to go on strikes.

The Southeast Asian nation has about 900 garment and shoe factories employing about 600,000 workers, according to Labor Ministry spokesman Heng Sour. The industry, the kingdom's largest foreign exchange earner, generated 5 billion US dollars in revenues a year.

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