Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padey Techo Hun Sen Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia Cabinet of the Prime Minister, Council of Ministers Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia
17 January 2014
Dear Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padey Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia,
We, the undersigned global brands and global unions, write to communicate to you our grave concern at the killing and wounding of workers and bystanders by security forces on 2 and 3 January 2014.
The use of deadly force against protesting workers will not result in long‐term industrial peace and jeopardizes Cambodia’s position as a stable sourcing location for international brands. We strongly support the United Nation’s request that the Royal Government of Cambodia launch a prompt and thorough investigation into the events of 2 and 3 January 2014. The investigation should ensure full accountability of any members of security forces found to have used disproportionate and excessive force and to take measures to prevent the repetition of such acts.
We urge the Government to immediately engage employers and unions to negotiate a resolution to this crisis and to lay the foundation for credible and regular dialogue between workers, employers and government.
A constructive path forward for the industry must address issues that have been the root cause of current and past conflicts as follows:
Rights of detainees. The government must respect the rights of the 23 detained trade union
leaders and workers as detailed by the U.N.'s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Failure to take such actions constitutes serious interference with civil rights in general and trade
union rights in particular.
Respect for the right to freedom of association. Legal action against organizations for their
legitimate union activity violates ILO Convention 87, Protection of the Right to Organize, which
Cambodia has ratified. It states that “no one should be deprived of their freedom or be subject
to penal sanctions for the mere fact of organizing or participating in a peaceful strike.”
International law sets strict parameters for the respect of trade union rights and the
Government must be in compliance with these. Violence and destruction of property are not
legitimate tools of industrial action, and punitive measures should be taken against the
individuals who commit those acts. However, legal action against unions participating in the
wage strike violates this core labour rights standard, and is counterproductive to re‐establishing
social dialogue in the garment industry.
Trade union law. The introduction of a legal framework that is consistent with ILO Conventions
87 and 98 as the foundation for effective industrial relations is long overdue. We urge the government to re‐start an inclusive process that clarifies the legal responsibilities of both
employers and workers to contribute to good industrial relations.
4. New wage‐setting process. The government needs to honor previous commitments to institute a methodologically sound and inclusive process for determining the minimum wage. This new process should find prompt agreement on a new minimum wage and include a regular review mechanism to underpin more stable industrial relations.
The global garment industry is changing rapidly, and industrial peace is required to rebuild our confidence in the Cambodian garment industry.
We respectfully request that Samdech meet with senior representatives of the undersigned in the week of 3 February 2014 to discuss how we can help you achieve the above‐mentioned goals.
Please accept, Samdech, the assurance of our highest consideration.
Global Director, Social and Environmental Affairs Adidas Group
VP, External Engagement & Social Responsibility American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.
Merchandise Director Bonmarche
Head of Sustainable Business Development C&A Europe
Trade Director, Global Sourcing Debenhams
Senior Vice President
Head of Global Quality Management and Sustainability Esprit Holdings
Senior Vice President
Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Fifth and Pacific Companies, Inc.
Senior Vice President, Global Responsibility Gap Inc.
Head of Sustainability, H&M
Karl Gunnar Fagerlin
General Manager Global Production, H&M
Global CSR Director Inditex Sa.
General Secretary IndustriALL Global Union
International Trade Union Confederation
Chief Supply Chain Officer Levi Strauss & Co.
Director, Global Sustainability Lululemon Athletica
Juerg von Niederhaeusern
Head of Sustainability / Social Compliance Migros
Angela Spindler Chief Executive
N Brown Group plc
Dr. Monica Gorman
Head of Corporate Compliance New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.
Vice President, Global Sourcing & Manufacturing
Vice President, Sustainable Business & Innovation Nike
Stefanie Reichenbach Corporate Social Responsibility Orsay
Company Secretary Associated British Foods
Dr. Reiner Hengstmann Global Director PUMA.Safe
VP, Human Rights PVH Corp.
Dr. Sven Axel Groos
Board Member (Non Food) Tchibo
Ira M. Dansky
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary The Jones Group Inc.
Michael J. Widman
Vice President, International Labor Standards The Walt Disney Company
Senior Counsel and Senior Director, Corporate Social Responsibility Under Armour, Inc.
Phillip Jennings General Secretary UNI Global Union
Vice President Ethical Sourcing
SVP Global Sourcing Operations Walmart
Copies: H.E. Sun Chanthol, Senior Minister, Minister for Commerce H.E. Ith Sam Heng, Minister for Labour and Vocational Training