By  on January 9, 2014

WASHINGTON — A coalition of labor rights groups stepped up pressure on retailers and apparel brands sourcing in Cambodia on Thursday, imploring them to help urge an end to the violence that has taken the lives of at least four garment workers in the past week and to change their purchasing practices to support lifting the minimum wage in that country.

The statement by the labor rights groups comes in the wake of the Cambodian government’s use of deadly force on Jan. 3 against thousands of garment workers protesting for a higher wage rate that left at least four dead and more than 30 people injured. The Cambodian government initially offered to increase the minimum wage rate to $95 a month from $80 a month, but after more protests, the government  increased the rate to $100 a month, which workers have said is still not enough. Workers are demanding an increase to $160 a month.

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