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Workers protest for cash instead of leave

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Workers want their holiday time paid in cash. Supplied

Nearly 1,000 workers from a shoe factory in Kampong Cham province’s Chherng Prey district protested yesterday for the fifth time to demand that the company pay their remaining annual leave as cash.

Cheng Heang, director of the provincial labour department, said nearly 1,000 workers of Hwa Long (Cambodia) Outsole Industry have been protesting since February 14.

He added the workers demanded the company to pay their annual leave as cash, but the company refused, saying they must take those days off in order to get the money.

“I think what the workers are demanding from the company is a small thing. But both sides did not negotiate with each other, making the protest more than five days. It’s a small problem but they made it a big problem,” he said.

He added there was still no resolution even though authorities and labour department officials had come to negotiate.

“This morning, only 100 workers returned to work and the others did not agree to come back,” he said, suggesting that workers come back to work before negotiations begin.

Sok Lang, an administrative officer at Hwa Long, declined to comment.

According to the workers’ petition, they are demanding that the company pay their annual leave.

“We suggest our annual leave be paid as cash and we suggest to the company to not cut our wages during the protest to maintain a good working relationship,” the petition letter said.

On Sunday, more than 700 workers from three factories in Phnom Penh’s Por Senchey district received part of their missing wages after the owner of the factories disappeared. The three factories – Yu Fa Garment Industry, Yu Da Garment Industry and S.R.E Garment Company – were owned by a single Chinese businessman who absconded earlier this month.

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