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Labour union sued by factory

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
Workers protest in front of the Gawon Apparel factory in Kandal province. Supplied

The owner of Gawon Apparel factory in Kandal province’s Takhmao city has sued the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union for continuing its protest and has requested Labour Ministry intervention.

Chha Kbong Hy, 49, in a letter to Labour Minister Ith Samheng seen yesterday, said CCAWDU officials incited workers to block National Road 21 and the gate of the factory, making it so the factory could not complete its orders.

“Kandal Provincial Court issued a court protection warrant ordering all protesters back to work as normal in 48 hours, but union officials Rann Bora, Prak Chanthorn and Kris Chantha are still telling the workers to strike and block the factory gate,” she said.

She added they intimidated other workers who attempted to come to work by stopping them and closing the factory door.

They also erected a tent in front of the gate and threatened violence against those wanting to return to work, she said.

“Due to the protest, the factory cannot deliver its products to buyers on time. That’s why buyers couldn’t send money to the factory and why the factory does not have money to pay the workers their salary on time as well,” said Ms Kbong Hy. Rann Bora, 36, CCAWDU president at Gawon Apparel factory, denied the owner’s accusations yesterday.

“My friends and I did not do as the factory owner accused. We never threatened or forced the workers to protest and block the road. They decided to protest together because they are angry with their employer for not paying their salary,” he said.

A tent erected in front of the factory gate. Supplied

Mr Bora added he had not seen the factory’s complaint, but said he now feared for his safety, possible legal repercussions and factory gangsters.

Earlier this month, the factory fired nearly 600 employees for breaching a court warrant ordering them back to work after months of protest.

Meanwhile, workers from two factories, Gawon Apparel and First Gawon Apparel, filed a petition to Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday, asking for intervention.

The workers want their salary for December, the reinstatement of 588 staff, paid wages and other benefits during the protest period, and payments to the National Social Security Fund.

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