Shot for asking $10

In February 2012 over a thousand workers from three factories were protesting for better working conditions, including a salary increase of $10 per month over their $61 per month minimum wage. Then there was a shooting in front of the Kaoway Sports company, and three young female protestors were shot. One of them needed intensive care treatment in the capital Phnom Penh.
“I am not even thinking of my arm now. Just what I can do to have enough food. Even though my arm still hurts, I will still go to work.”

Nea, one of the workers who was shot

The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) and its partner organisations followed up with Puma, the main buyer of the factory, which resulted in the pay rise workers had demanded and a joint call by several brands to the government to investigate the shooting. The shooting appeared to have been perpetrated by the former local governor, Chouck Bundith.

In an initial statement Puma denied any responsibility for the events. Following CCC’s intervention and considerable press coverage they issued further statements, acknowledging that they had been buying from Kaoway Sports and were prepared to pay for the women’s hospital care and follow-up treatment.

The workers subsequently received the pay rise they had struggled for. Together with other buyers, Puma urged the Cambodian authorities to investigate the shooting, and promised to observe the legal proceedings about the case. At the time of writing (September 2013) the court case has still not been opened.

''I am scared every day because he is still in town.”

Chenda, one of the workers who was shot, about the former local governor who allegedly shot the workers

Local human rights NGOs are following up on the court case.