Violent response to strike for increased minimum wage

06.01.2014

A nationwide strike in Cambodia to increase the minimum wage from USD 80 to USD 160 started on 24 December and ended nearly two weeks later in violence and killings.

Following a government decision to increase the existing minimum wage of USD 80 with USD 15, strikes erupted around Cambodia. Workers had demanded that the minimum wage should be raised to USD 160. 

On the 2 and 3 January the demonstrations took a violent turn when protesters and rights activists were arrested. As Royal Police and striking workers clashed, four people were shot dead and 37 more were seriously injured.

Arrest warrants have been issued for the trade union leaders supporting the strikes, including leaders of IndustriALL Global Union affiliates.

Jyrki Raina, IndustriALL’s general secretary, strongly condemns the violence and persecution of trade union representatives:

Killing and injuring workers is wholly unacceptable and must end immediately! IndustriALL fully stands behind the Cambodian workers’ demands for a living wage of USD 160. The 15 dollar increase proposed by the government is shameful.