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Win Shingtex Workers to March on New Factory

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
Workers from the closed factory marched to the Labor Ministry last week before being stopped by police and government officials. Supplied

Hundreds of former workers from the Win Shingtex (Cambodia) factory, who have been protesting for owed wages and benefits since early this month when the company surreptitiously terminated their contracts, will march along National Road 4 today to a location they believe to be the site of a new Win Shingtex factory, according to worker representatives.
The plan comes after workers were stopped by police during a march to the Ministry of Labor yesterday.
Hath Yum, 25, said that in Por Senchey district, police had prevented the workers from moving any closer to the ministry, with authorities promising to find a resolution for their cause. Ms. Yum, however, said such promises are useless.
“The ministry has not used the labor law to put pressure on the employer, but they continue to talk about negotiation again and again. We want to use the law to solve our problem, but they are not talking about the laws in this case,” Ms. Yum said.
The workers decided to suspend their stalled march yesterday at 11 am due to the heat, but Ms. Yum said they will not abandon their struggle.
“We know that the owner of the Win Shingtex (Cambodia) factory did not go bankrupt as claimed. They are building a new factory in Borey Senmonorom along National Road 4. So we will march to that place tomorrow to protest over there and we also plan to march to file a petition to Minister of Labor Ith Samheng and Prime Minister Hun Sen,” she said yesterday.
Ms. Yum said that while she and her fellow workers are concerned for their safety, they have no choice but to protest.
“If Prime Minister Hun Sen ignores our suffering, there will be no one else to help anymore because Samdach Hun Sen is a powerful person in Cambodia who can help the people and workers that are facing injustice,” she said.
What they need, Ms. Yum said, is the money they earned for their work at Win Shingtex.
“We really need the money because we owe other money elsewhere, and we also need to support our standard of living. We are afraid, but we do not have a choice at all,” she said. “If we are injured or killed for protesting to demand our benefits, our country will be famous and the world will know what Cambodia looks like.”
Rann Khemara, vice-president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, reported yesterday that the fourth attempted negotiation with Win Shingtex (Cambodia) had failed on account of company representatives failing to show up.
“We are preparing a petition to send to the Labor Minister to help the workers and we will march to the new location of the factory tomorrow. I know that the new factory, which is owned by the owner of Win Shingtex (Cambodia), will recruit new workers next month,” he said.
Vong Sovann, deputy secretary general of the Labor Ministry’s Committee for the Settlement of Strikes and Demonstrations, said yesterday that the ministry is working on the workers’ case. “We are negotiating regarding this issue,” he said.

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