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Over half of all garment factories in Kandal shuttered due to COVID-19

Buth Sela / Khmer Times Share:
Mao Phirun, chairman of Kandal Provincial Council. KT/Khem Sovannara

Seventy-eight garment factories have been closed and 64,942 workers left jobless in Kandal province due to the COVID-19 crisis, provincial authorities have announced.

Mao Phirun, Kandal Provincial Council chairman, said in a press conference yesterday that as of February 8, 78 garment factories had temporarily shuttered and 64,942 workers were left unemployed in the province.

He said that last year, there were 451 factories in operation in the province, including 144 garment and footwear factories, that employed a total of 131,113 people.

Phirun said the garment and footwear industry earned the province more than $31,909,890 per month in 2020, around $382,918,680 for the year.

He said 1,402 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were established last year in Kandal province, an increase of 13 compared to 2019, equivalent to 0.94 percent.

The Minister of Labour Ith Samheng said recently that last year, 1,356 enterprises closed and 108,825 workers lost their jobs nationwide.

1,103 factories later reopened, he added, with 61,257 additional jobs recreated. In the same period in 2019, only 969 enterprises closed and 85,889 workers lost their jobs.

“Cambodian workers have been able to weather the storm of the pandemic with assistance from the Ministry of Labour such as monthly allowances, skills training and healthcare” he said.

Samheng said that the government provided a monthly allowance of $40 to 340,032 garment and tourism workers, totalling $23 million, during the employment layoffs and factory suspensions.

Moreover, the minister added that soft skills training was organised by the ministry for a total of 66,607 workers, of which 53,610 were women, from 107 factories.

Cambodian Youth Power Union League president Seang Rithy said yesterday that garment workers are still suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, he said some garment workers have found new jobs while others are still waiting.

“A small number of workers have migrated abroad because they can’t wait to get a job here. They need a job, otherwise they can’t pay their loans,” he said.

 

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