Despite low pay, garment workers settle for jobs in labor

Wearing a safety helmet and a bright orange construction worker’s vest, Tha Sreyroth was not alone as she left a jobsite near Wat Phnom on October 1. She was in the company of more than a dozen other women laborers, a sight that has become increasingly common this year in an industry usually dominated by men.

Sreyroth, 26, said she had started construction work after she was forced to leave her job at a footwear factory in Kandal province when the facility, along with hundreds of others nationwide, suspended operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“My contract was terminated at the footwear factory in March during the spread of coronavirus and I returned to rest at my homeland for several months,” Sreyroth said.

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