Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Apparel giant VF Corporation refutes ministry’s allegations

Apparel giant VF Corporation refutes ministry’s allegations

VF Corporation's senior manager for global responsible sourcing, meets with Labour Minister Ith Samheng on Monday.
VF Corporation representatives meet with Labour Minister Ith Samheng on Monday. Pha Lina

Apparel giant VF Corporation refutes ministry’s allegations

In a rare rebuke, a US apparel giant refuted the Labour Ministry’s portrayal of a closed-door meeting earlier this week and denied reports they were increasing orders from Cambodia.

In a statement, VF Corporation spokesman Craig Hodges said news coverage that the company expressed satisfaction with the government’s efforts to improve workers’ rights “greatly misrepresents” the company’s position. In fact, “we are concerned with the Cambodian government’s recent actions that seem to undermine progress toward improving worker rights, and appear to have created an environment that has weakened the protection of human rights”, Hodges said.

VF Corporation – the parent company of brands like The North Face, JanSport, and Timberland – sources from over 20 factories in Cambodia, spending $350 to $400 million a year, according to the ministry.

On Monday, after the meeting, Labour Minister Ith Sam Heng told reporters the company had complimented improvements in workers’ rights and was increasing orders. Government newswire AKP and the Khmer Times repeated the claims.

Ministry of Labour spokesman Heng Sour could not be reached yesterday.

VF Corporation’s statement echoed the language of an open letter penned by several large apparel groups on Tuesday criticising the harassment of union leaders and several restrictive new labour laws. Company representatives remained in the country on Thursday to meet with several union leaders.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Banteay Meanchey gunfight sees 15 Thais arrested, three officers injured

    The Banteay Meanchey Military Police have arrested 15 Thai suspects and their accomplices after a gun battle between two Thai groups caused injuries to three police officers in the early hours of November 21, local authorities said. National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said that according to

  • PM: Do not defile Tonle Sap swamp forest or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered police to arrest anyone – including government officials – involved with the deforestation of the flooded forests surrounding the Tonle Sap Lake because it is an area important to the spawning of many species of fish, among other reasons. Speaking in a