Many Face Cascades of Woe if Cambodia Loses Preferred EU Trade Status

This photo taken on Aug. 30, 2017 shows garment workers sewing clothes in a factory as they wait for visit by Prime Minister Hun Sen outside of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

In Rotha passed the national exam for high school graduates in 2011. At the time, her ailing, widowed mother could not pay for college so In Rotha found work in a garment factory to support her mother, a sister and a brother. Her starting salary was $61 a month.

Since then, like the more than 750,000 workers in the sector in Cambodia, she’s benefited from the annual wage increases fought for by labor rights activists, one of whom is her husband Mut Mao, 37, a union leader.

Today, she earns $182 a month after five years working in the Tak Fook factory in Kampong Tralach’s Thmar Ith commune, which employs about 5,000 workers, producing garment for H&M, Swedish multinational clothing-retail company known for selling fast-​fashion, and Canadian brand Carter’s, known for comfy children’s clothing.

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