Pregnant worker at Nike factory in Cambodia loses her baby after police stunned her with CATTLE PRODS during protest against low pay

May 28, 2013 7:39 am 0 comments Views: 1411

Cambodian police used cattle prods to stun workers protesting over pay at a factory that makes clothing for U.S. sportswear company Nike – injuring at least 23 women and causing one to miscarry her baby.

Police dressed in riot gear were deployed to move around 3,000 predominantly female workers who had blocked a road outside their factory owned by Sabrina (Cambodia) Garment Manufacturing in Kampong Speu province, west of the capital, Phnom Penh, in Cambodia today.

Among the 23 women injured in the incident was a two-months pregnant worker who lost her child after military police pushed her to the ground, Sun Vanny, president of the Free Trade Union (FTU) at Sabrina said.

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Police clashed with around 3,000 predominantly female workers protesting over pay outside a factory owned by Sabrina Garment Manufacturing in Kampong Speu which makes sportswear for Nike (stock image)

‘There was a pregnant woman among them. She lost blood and then she lost the baby,’ he said.

According to the International Monetary Fund, garments accounted for 75 pct of Cambodia’s total exports of $5.22 billion in 2011.

Low-cost labour has attracted manufacturers making clothes and shoes for Western brands but strikes over pay and working conditions have become common.

This month, two workers were killed at a factory making running shoes for Asics when part of a warehouse fell in on them. Police revised the original death toll of three given by a minister.

A series of deadly incidents at factories in Bangladesh, including the collapse of a building last month that killed more than 1,000 people, has focused global attention on safety in factories in Asia makes goods for Western companies.

Previous incident: A Cambodian rescue team searches for missing workers after a shelter at a garment factory collapsed in Phnom Penh in Cambodia on May 20Previous incident: A Cambodian rescue team searches for missing workers after a shelter at a garment factory collapsed in Phnom Penh in Cambodia on May 20

Poor conditions: Members of a rescue party search through rubble after thirteen workers were injured when a shelter at a Chinese garment factory collapsed Poor conditions: Members of a rescue party search through rubble after thirteen workers were injured when a shelter at a Chinese garment factory collapsed

Sun Vanny said the workers making the Nike clothing had been staging strikes and protests since May 21.

They want the company, which employs more than 5,000 people at the plant, to give them $14 a month to help pay for transport, rent and healthcare costs on top of their $74 minimum wage.

‘Police used an electric baton to hit me on the head and if other workers hadn’t pulled me away, I would be dead,’ Leng Pros, a 28-year-old male worker, said from his hospital bed. ‘I didn’t know what happened next, I fell to the ground.’

Police and military police officials declined to comment on the clash, saying they were still collecting reports. No immediate comment was available from Nike Inc. 

More incidents: Two workers were killed when this factory collapsed in Kai Ruong village, south of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on May 16More incidents: Two workers were killed when this factory collapsed in Kai Ruong village, south of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on May 16

Reduced to rubble: Rescue workers and soldiers search through the site of the accident in a shoe factory in the Kong Pisei district of Kampong Speu province, 30 miles west of the capital, Phnom Penh on May 16Reduced to rubble: Rescue workers and soldiers search through the site of the accident in a shoe factory in the Kong Pisei district of Kampong Speu province, 30 miles west of the capital, Phnom Penh on May 16

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