In the Third World, the proletariat are driven in the harshest conditions to produce the value that we proletariat in the First World appropriate. We should not be surprised in any way that the most radical of worker actions against exploitation take place there. With the resistance of the workers to that exploitation so high, the bourgeois respond in a manner of repression necessary to combat it. This truth leads us to what happened yesterday in Cambodia when the worker protest turned deadly.
The garment workers had been protesting to demand that the minimum wage be doubled due to the overwhelming poverty they face. A demand for a minimum wage of $160 (US) a month was responded with an offer of $100 (US). This is simply not enough. It is important to note that Cambodia has over 500,000 garment workers which make up an important source of national income.
The workers eventually refused to produce for the capitalist and blocked off a road south of the capital, Phnom Penh. These actions lead to a clash with the police who have maintained that the protesters should not be allowed to take such acts.
Eventually the police opened fire killing three protesters and injuring several more. A military spokesman, Kheng Tito, told the Associated Foreign Press that nine policemen were injured.
An activist from rights group Adhoc, Chan Soveth, told the news agency that police “used rifles and other things to crack down on the strikers” at Friday’s protest.
It is clear that the grinding poverty of some of the world’s lowest cost labour is not acceptable to the dignity of human life. These people have the right, and necessity, to struggle against the national bourgeois and the First World foreign capital that dominate their lives. All socialists should stand in solidarity with the workers as they strive for livable wage.
Cambodia garment workers killed in clashes with police, BBC News