Protests Continues Outside UK Retailer’s Office

Garment factory workers protested for a second day outside the Phnom Penh office of U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) on Wednesday, claiming that their now-defunct employer had manufactured clothing for the brand.

About 200 workers are seeking unpaid wages following the abrupt bankruptcy in June of Chung Fai Knitwear, a factory where workers say they produced garments for M&S, a claim the company has repeatedly denied.

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A woman protests outside Marks & Spencer’s office in Phnom Penh over unpaid factory wages on Tuesday. (Emil Kastrup/The Cambodia Daily)

An M&S representative on Wednesday met with workers and took a document listing several of their complaints, according to Khan Chiven, one of the protesters.

She said the representative returned about 30 minutes later to restate that the company had never ordered the Meanchey district factory to manufacture clothes.

Workers have previously shown photographs of the brand’s label on clothes which they insist were taken inside the factory.

Ms. Chiven, 32, said workers would return to protest again today.

“I don’t care which factory they ordered to produce this brand,” she said.

Manufacturers frequently subcontract work onto other, usually smaller factories, obscuring links in the supply chain.

“Our factory is the one that always produced this brand.”

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