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Cambodian garment workers return to work after deadly clashes

Published on Jan 7, 2014 5:04 PM
 
Sam Rainsy (C), president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), arrives for a news conference at the CNRP office in Phnom Penh on Jan 7, 2014. Tens of thousands of garment workers have returned to work in Cambodia, ending a two-week pay dispute after authorities used deadly force to quell a strike and thwart a protest by their political allies seeking a re-run of a July election. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

PHNOM PENH (REUTERS) - Tens of thousands of garment workers have returned to work in Cambodia, ending a two-week pay dispute after authorities used deadly force to quell a strike and thwart a protest by their political allies seeking a re-run of a July election.

A union and the country's garment factory association estimated that between 65 and 70 per cent of workers had returned to factories as of Tuesday.

About 350,000 had gone on strike, threatening to cripple the country's main export industry, with more than US$5 billion (S$6 billion) in revenue a year coming in from big international brands such as Adidas, Gap and H&M Hennes & Mauritz .

Ken Loo, secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), which represents 521 clothing and footwear factories, put the losses suffered by members at"much more than US$200 million".

 
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