May 16, 2013
THE NEW YORK TIMES
HONG KONG — A ceiling at a small factory making shoes on the outskirts of the capital of Cambodia collapsed on Thursday morning, killing at least two workers and underlining global worries about factory safety in poor countries.
Ken Loo, the secretary general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, said that steel beams holding up a concrete-floored storage area at mezzanine height between two building had given way. In addition to the two dead, nine workers were injured, three of them severely, by falling pieces of concrete, Mr. Loo said.
The collapse outside the capital, Phnom Penh, came 22 days after the collapse of a garment factory complex in Bangladesh killed at least 1,127 people and prompted an international outcry for multinational retailers to assume more responsibility for the safety of workers at their suppliers.
Multinationals have been looking to Cambodia as one of several countries that could be alternatives to Bangladesh. Cambodia has some of the lowest pay in Asia, with workers earning $120 a month in salary and benefits before overtime. That compares with just $37 in Bangladesh.
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