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T-win Garment reinstates eight Cambodian union leaders

3 May, 2023Interventions from IndustriALL Global Union and Nike, has led to T-win Garment Cambodia Co. Ltd. reinstating eight local union leaders who are affiliated to the Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW). They were reinstated on 26 April. 

After the formation of a local union and election of ten union officials from CUMW at T-win Garment in Takeo province, company management forced two CUMW leaders, Horn Sophoeurn and Koeurng Ngieng, to resign from the union. When they refused, the company dismissed them on 10 February.

Four days later, the company management asked the remaining eight unionists to resign from the union. After refusing to follow the instruction they were dismissed on the same day. CUMW filed a complaint with the authority and attended mediation meetings, but still the management refused to reinstate workers.

After failed mediations CUMW and IndustriALL requested the intervention of Nike, a customer of T-Win Garment. After two months of engagements with the brand and the company, T-Win Garment finally agreed to reinstate the dismissed leaders. The other two unionists decided to leave with termination compensation.

Pav Sina, president of CUWM said

“we welcome the full reinstatement of the 8 unionists with backpay. The joint agreement states that both parties will respect legal procedures and will not retaliate against each other after the reinstatement. Labour disputes will be managed peacefully and effectively in the future.”

IndustriALL director of textile and garment industry Christina Hajagos-Clausen says, 

“we thank Nike for their intervention and the cooperation of T-Win Garment. We hope that employers in Cambodia fully respect workers’ freedom of association and collective bargaining in garment and textile factories and that they build harmonious relationships with unions. Suppliers should adhere to stronger labour standards because there are increased legislative efforts in implementing human rights’ due diligence in global supply chain.”

The garment sector is the prime contributor to the Cambodian economy. Sixty per cent of the country’s total export are garment, textile, shoe and footwear products. The garment export increased by 24 percent to US$10.25 billion on a year-on-year basis.