May 16, 2013

Another in a continuing series of "The High Cost of Low Wages":

Part of a shoe factory has collapsed in Cambodia, leaving at least two people dead, officials say.

The concrete roof at the factory in Kampong Speu province, west of Phnom Penh, crashed on to employees as they were working, a police spokesman said.

At least six people were injured, police said. Rescue workers combed through the rubble for several hours before finishing operations.

The garment industry is Cambodia's biggest employer and export earner.

More than half a million people are employed in the industry, for which the minimum wage rose this month from $61 (£40) to $75 a month. Many of the factories make clothes for the US and European markets.

[...] One report said the weight of equipment stored on the roof caused the collapse.

"We were working normally and suddenly several pieces of brick and iron started falling on us," injured 25-year-old Kong Thary was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

The shoe factory is owned by a Taiwanese company Wing Star Shoes, which makes trainers for Japanese sports brand Asics, reports say.

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