Stitched Under Strain: Long term loss in the Cambodian Garment Industry

ActionAid’s latest report, ‘Stitched Under Strain: Long term wage loss across the Cambodian garment industry’, has revealed new evidence that Cambodian garment workers, including at factories that produce for major brands Nike and Adidas, have experienced systemic wage loss alongside a massive reduction in working hours since the pandemic, which has left workers unable to meet their basic needs.  


Our research revealed:

  • 25 percent of surveyed workers have experienced a decrease in monthly take-home pay, excluding overtime, since 2020. When overtime pay was included, the majority of surveyed workers were earning less now than they were in 2020, before Covid-19 hit.
  • Overtime pay, which workers rely on to meet basic living costs, decreased by more than 60 percent for surveyed workers from 2020 to 2023. Workers have gone from earning, on average, an additional US$36 before the pandemic hit, to an average US$12 per month in 2023.
  • 65 percent of surveyed workers reported that their salary is insufficient to support them until the end of the month, and almost 50% of surveyed workers are going to work without eating enough.
  • 91 percent of surveyed workers reported holding at least one current loan, with 70 percent pointing to the economic insecurity of the pandemic as a driver of increased debt. Workers also reported increasingly turning to informal loans that carry interest rates as high as 20 percent, with some workers reporting alarming new trends such as borrowing from factory supervisors directly.

Read the report here