Locking the factory doors

For decades the garment and footwear industry has fuelled Cambodia's economic miracle, with more than 900,000 workers employed by over 1,000 factories at its peak. But with the global economic shutdown, the factory lights are off and the doors locked.

Back when he was working at the garment factory, Seurn Chhim had to wake up around 4am to make it on time for the start of his shift. 

His morning routine was simple. First, as his two children slept, he prepared rice and packed his lunch for later at the factory. After making the food, Chhim took a shower, got dressed and, along with his wife, Sem Sovann, made the brief walk to the point where an open-backed truck would pick them up, jostling with crowds of men and women on the route to Gladpeer factory in Por Sen Chey, Phnom Penh. The ride took about nearly an hour to bump the crew to work before the 7am starting-time. 

Now, months unemployed and waiting at home for production to begin again at his now-shuttered factory, Chhim looks back on those rides as a cherished time of day.

In full: https://southeastasiaglobe.com/cambodia-garments-covid-19/

© 2020, All rights reserved.