Early Union Effort in Cambodia
As American businesses take their operations abroad to exploit low-cost labor in developing countries, American unions are taking their organizing efforts abroad to level the playing field for both American and foreign workers. As part of a 1999 trade agreement eliminating almost all tariffs on Cambodian clothing manufacturers, the Cambodian government agreed to raise the minimum wage and permit unionization efforts. The AFL-CIO is sponsoring organizer and workers' rights training for employees in Cambodia's $980 million a year garment industry which is a major supplier for such U.S. companies as the Gap and Ralph Lauren.
See CHRIS DECHERD, Los Angeles Times, September 16, 2001