The Cambodian government is launching a scheme in partnership with textile and garment factory owners to provide financial support to workers who have been laid off because of the economic downturn.
Prime Minister Hun Sen has reportedly told the country’s Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and the Ministry of Economy and Finance to work together with factory owners on compensation for 32,000 workers laid off due to factory closures.
Ministry of Labour spokesman Heng Sour told local media that more than 70 factories had closed down in the country, leaving 32,023 workers unemployed, of whom 26,055 are female.
Hun Sen blamed the global economic crisis, which had reduced orders from the US and Europe, especially in the garment and footwear sectors, but said the situation was not yet as bad as during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is expected that laid off workers will receive US$70 per month from April – US$40 of this would come from the government with the rest being met by factory owners.
The Prime Minister also told the ministries to increase cash support for pregnant women and children under the age of two to ensure they received adequate nutrition.
Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW), told journalists: “On behalf of the workers, I am very happy with the assistance for the workers who were suspended from work or became victims of factory closure.
“We would like to see this assistance increased further to help ease their burdens.”
Ath Thorn, president of the Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC), also expressed support for the government’s measures to help workers laid off due to factory closures.
And Kaing Monika, spokesman for the Textile, Apparel, Footwear and Travel Goods Association in Cambodia (TAFTAC), said: “We are working together with the government and stakeholders to try hard to mitigate impacts caused by this worsening global economic situation.”