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In the year 2011, approximately 1,000 workers fainted in factories that were owned by South Koreans, Taiwanese, and the Chinese. In spite of mass protests, the situation is quite critical as well as tricky. It is a booming industry in Cambodia that garners revenue of around $5 billion and provides employment opportunities to 600,000 people mostly from lower economic class. The pay is extremely meager with less that $100 per month and this compels many of them to work overtime for extra earnings. Workers from garment factories have been vocal with their complaints regarding their poor working conditions but mostly there have been no positive remedies. Illness is another factor that causes grievance among workers, but any kind of strikes are suppressed by violence from the authorities. For instance, in January this year police fired to control crowds during a strike resulting in the death of five workers. For April 17, workers are again preparing for a strike and this time their demand will be to increase monthly wages from $100 to $160 (Powell).
Now the tricky part is where does the solution lie. It is no doubt that Cambodian economy is to a large extent thriving on foreign investments. Since the beginning of global recession in 2008, Cambodia has experienced high economic development in the initial two years all thanks to foreign investments, a flourishing tourism industry and thriving agricultural industry. According to Stephen Higgins, chief executive officer for ANZ Royal Bank in Phnom Penh, “The Cambodian economy is probably in the best shape it has ever been in” (Corben).
Workers are a major factor in any industry, and it is their labour and endurance that provides for the economy of a country. Hence, it is a tragedy that not only in Cambodia, but in many developing countries the situation is almost same. Poor working condition is part and parcel of jobs for the working class in addition to low wages. Such
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