The European Union ambassador to Cambodia assured union officials on Tuesday that no sanctions on the garment sector had been taken.
Former opposition leader Sam Rainsy and several civil society groups have called for sanctions on the garment industry following the dissolution of the opposition CNRP last month.
In a meeting with Som Aun, president of the National Union Alliance Chamber of Cambodia, EU ambassador George Edgar said no sanctions had been taken.
“It was our priority to tell Mr Edgar that the garment and footwear industry were vital to a lot of workers and their families and helped improve working conditions across the country,” Mr Aun said.
Mr Aun asked Mr Edgar for the EU not to involve the workers in the country’s political issues, and called for garment workers to continue working as normal.
Mr Edgar told Mr Aun he understood the situation and would bring the unions’ requests and concerns to his colleagues in Brussels.
Earlier this month, the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia called on international buyers to continue ordering clothes and textile products made in the country over fears the US and the EU could halt preferential treatment for Cambodian exports.
Meanwhile, three union leaders filed petitions to EU and US ambassadors yesterday asking for orders to continue as usual.
There are concerns the US could remove preferential treatment for Cambodian exports offered under its Generalized System of Preferences, while the EU could do the same for privileges provided through its Everything But Arms initiative.