Low pay prompts garment workers in Asia to protest

09/19/2010 | Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model)

Cambodian garment workers recently staged a walkout to protest their low pay, encouraged by actions in other Asian nations. The monthly minimum wage in Bangladesh was boosted 80% to $43, but that increase was not enough to keep workers from rioting. The Cambodian government responded to the walkout with a proposal to discuss benefits of workers. "Those protests [in other countries] encouraged us," said Ath Thun, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers' Democratic Union. "Garment workers in those countries received more wages when they protested, so we thought we should, too, since our wages are also unacceptably low."

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