A Change of Guard

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Friday, 27 May 2016

‘More work to be done,’ admits Gap

Menekseka Sangkum

Countries like Cambodia and Vietnam have made themselvese attractive to overseas investors such as Gap mainly because these firms see opportunities to increase instant profit margin by avoiding higher industrial, operational and labour costs in their home nations in favour of abundant cheap and poorly represented workers with the encouragement and active support of local governments who value foreign investments in similairly self-motivated terms, as shown by their violent and brutal crackdowns on workers' protests for better conditions over the years, including the Veng Streng Blv. violence a couple of years back.


Pedestrians walk past a Gap Inc. store in San Fransisco, California earlier this month. Bloomberg
Pedestrians walk past a Gap Inc store in San Fransisco, California earlier this month. Bloomberg

‘More work to be done,’ admits Gap
Fri, 27 May 2016 ppp
Yesenia Amaro

US clothing retailer Gap Inc yesterday responded to allegations of labour rights abuses in its Cambodian supplier factories, saying it is determined to help drive progress in the industry, but can’t do it alone.

In an email, company spokeswoman Laura Wilkinson said that while Gap has long been working to improve conditions in the factories that make its clothes, “the global apparel industry still faces challenges”.

An Asia Floor Wage Alliance report released this week detailed workers being employed on fixed-duration contracts, forced to work long overtime hours and denied social security benefits at Gap suppliers.

Similar issues were found in a report on H&M last week.

Gap is engaging with workers, factories, unions, governments and NGOs to overcome those challenges by developing solutions that matter most to workers, Wilkinson said without offering specifics.

“We know that we can’t tackle many of the challenges we face on our own,” she said.

“We know there is more work to be done, but we remain committed to helping ensure that the women and men who make our clothing are treated with dignity and respect.”

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