Garment workers pressing for higher wages in Cambodia have joined opposition activists in anti-government protests.

The protests in the capital Phnom Penh on Thursday came as the country's garment manufacturers association recommended its members stop operations for a week for fear that demonstrators might damage the factories, which make clothes and shoes for foreign brands.

The merging of the workers with opposition activists puts more pressure on the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen. Protesters accuse him of rigging elections in July that extended his 28-year rule, and demand that he resign and call new elections.

Labor unrest in the economically vital garment sector will hurt the government. The industry employs more than 500,000 people and is the biggest export earner.