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· Oz-Asian
7,461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Is this thread suppose to be Cambodian related things for the London games, or do you want it to be active for the next month or so for everything we want to talk about related to the game.

Cambodian did 7 games and never won anything, so there isn't going to be much we can talk about.
anything related to the games

· Oz-Asian
7,461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The Scandal Of Chinese And Cambodian Olympic Uniforms

Two stories, one from each side of the Atlantic, on the scandal of how Olympic uniforms are being made not by domestic workers but by poor people in poor parts of the world.

In the US it turns out that the uniforms for the team itself have been made in China:

We’ve got bigger fish to fry. And we can fry them on Harry Reid’s bonfire.

Words can’t express the indignation felt by the Senate majority leader over the U.S. Olympic team’s uniforms being manufactured in China. He wants the uniforms put on a pile and burned.

Providing a politician with an opportunity to grandstand is performing a valuable public service I would say.

In the UK it appears that sweatshops in Cambodia are being used to make the Olympic branded gear on sale to the general public:

But at the company’s Shen Zhou factory on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, The Daily Telegraph discovered that poor machinists were working up to 10 hours a day, six days a week, to produce the official Olympics merchandise that thousands of fans will buy in stores throughout Britain.

Living in squalid conditions, workers said they earned a basic salary of $61 (£40) a month for working eight hours a day, six days a week, plus a $5 allowance for health care. They said they could take their wages up to $120 (£78) by increasing their hours to 10 per day.

Adidas insisted on Friday that workers at the factory made an average of $130 a month, and would get a pay rise later this year, along with other garment industry workers.

Anna McMullen of the campaign group Labour Behind the Label, said that was still lower than what they regarded as a living wage for a Cambodian worker with a family. “The minimum wage in Cambodia is horrendously low – $66 a month,” she said. “But the living wage for a worker with two children is $260.”

I agree that it is a scandal: in fact that both are scandals. But not for the reasons that most are pointing at. Let me illustrate by the example of those Cambodian workers. The rag trade (what we Brits call your garment trade) is the vital component of the Cambodian economy as it tries to pull itself out of the destructive monstrosities of the Pol Pot years and subsequent mismanagement:

Garments make up almost 80 per cent of all
Cambodia’s exports, and employ 65 per cent
of its manufacturing workforce.3 The garment
industry accounts for around 12 per cent of
Cambodia’s Gross Domestic Product.

As far as Cambodian industry goes, the rag trade is pretty much it.

I agree that neither you nor I, the lucky people that we are for having been born in our current time and place, would wish to work for the wages on offer. Yet what are the choices available to those in Cambodia?

Factories are required to pay the Cambodian
minimum wage of US$45 a month. Many
workers earn more as their output increases.
The industry average wage was US$61 a
month, and lately has crept up to US$70,
reflecting increased productivity.16 In
comparison, the average salary for a
Cambodian civil servant is US$28 a month.17
More than one-third of all Cambodians – 36
per cent – live below the poverty line.18
In the countryside where most workers come
from, the average monthly income for an entire
household is US$40 a month.19

Official working hours in garment factories are
8 hours a day, 6 days a week. But many
workers do overtime. Working hours average
10 hours a day.20 Forced overtime and
excessively long shifts have been reported as
problems in a number of factories.21

In comparison, women agricultural workers
labour almost 18 hours a day (men work 14
hours) during the rainy season, and 14 hours
a day (10 to 12 hours for men) during the dry

Low as those rag trade wages are, harsh as the working hours, they’re better than 18 hours a day up to your tuchkis in a paddy field.
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