Nine workers from a Cambodian garment factory were injured after clashing with police. Several thousands workers gathered outside the factory protesting the suspension of their union leader.
At least nine garment workers were injured on Tuesday in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh after they briefly clashed with police.
Some 3,000 workers employed at the Malaysian firm PCCS Garments Ltd., had been on strike for a week demanding their union leader be allowed to work again. They gathered on Tuesday morning to negotiate with factory officials when the protest broke out.
They threw bottles and rocks at riot police at the factory which makes clothing for international brands like Adidas, Puma, Gap and Benetton.
Armed police with a court order to clear the street, pushed the screaming women holding placards, back into the factory compound.
[Mon Chana, Suspended Union Leader]: (Khmer, gender female)
"I don't know why they fired me. It's probably because I represent the workers and solve problems for them so they want me out of the factory so that they can do whatever they want. That is why the workers don't agree to this (my suspension)."
[Chea Mony, Free Trade Union Representative]: (Khmer, gender male)
"The riot police came and dispersed the workers protesting in the garment factory. This is against the labor law which allows the worker to strike and protest at the factory. The police came and beat the workers. That makes the law meaningless and shows that Cambodia has no rule of law."
Factory officials declined to comment on the incident.
Cambodia's garment industry, which is the country's third-biggest currency earner behind agriculture and tourism, has been hit by demonstrations at factories in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, strikes and rallies prompted the government to sign an agreement with employers and five pro-government unions for an increase in the minimum wage: From 61 to 56 U.S. dollars a month.