Levi’s sweatshop partner in Cambodia agreed to pay “compensation” for killed worker but …
nsnbc : Zhen Tai Garment factory in Phnom Penh, a factory that produces Levi’s brand clothing, agreed to pay $12,000 to the family of the 45-year-old Kul Samorn who was killed when a steam generator exploded, was slung about 100 meters through the air and crushed into an outdoor area where workers had gathered for a lunchbreak. Several other workers were severely injured. No information about compensation for them was offered.
Police arrested the operator of the steam generator whom they blame for the accident. The workers was arrested and blamed even though the factory management was repeatedly warned that the stam generator needed to be replaced. Kul Samorn’s sister-in-law Kul Sanny, who also works at the factory, said representatives from the factory had visited her family in Svay Rieng province and agreed to pay out $12,000.
She said “The factory came here to give us compensation and we agreed to take it already”, and added that the owners also agreed to cover cremation and funeral costs. “We took the compensation instead of filing a complaint.” The family expected to receive another 4 million riel payout, or about $1,000, from the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) today, she said.
It is worth noting that providing for a reasonably decent living while affording more than merely the most basic schooling for children in Cambodia requires a monthly income of about $ 1,000. The compensation is thus very little for the family, merely a slap over the wrist for a factory that put the lives of its workers at risk, and another example for why one might think twice before buying products of the Levi’s brand or any other of the “etablished brands” who cash in on gullible “fashion-conscious” consuming slaves as well as sweatshop slaves.
Five of the other injured workers remained in the hospital on Sunday while two had been sent back home, according to Thong Soeun, a manager for the Khmer Union Federation of Workers Spirit, which represents most of the factory’s workers. Soeun said that the NSSF would cover the cost of treatment, but stressed that the factory should be responsible for long-term loss of income that any disabled workers might face down the road.
He added that “Even though the factory paid insurance to National Social Security Fund, the factory still has to be responsible for the loss of their livelihood and jobs”. Instead of holding the Chinese factory owners to account, however, police arrested an employee who operated the steam generator on Saturday for unknown charges, Soeun said. “They arrested a worker named Ou Vuth whose job was to take care of the steaming section. … It doesn’t seem right because this worker just followed factory rules.”
Vuth had repeatedly warned management to replace the aging steam generator said Soeun. However, the warnings had been ignored by higher-ups. District police chief Mok Hong confirmed that the suspect had been sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court for questioning on Saturday. However, he declined to answer further questions about the charges.
F/AK – nsnbc 28.03.2017