Boost for Cambodian workers as top fashion brands back contract ruling

Phnom Penh – Levi’s, H&M and Gap Inc. have backed a ruling that restricts the use of short-term contracts for garment workers in Cambodia, where critics say they are widely used to control staff and silence dissent.

The companies behind the three global fashion brands said they stood by an arbitration council’s ruling that a factory supplying them must give permanent contracts to 408 workers it employed on a short-term basis.

The ruling is significant because it could force hundreds of others to follow suit, ending what labor rights campaigners have condemned as the historic abuse of short-term contracts in the country’s $7 billion garment industry.

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