Garment workers from five factories whose employers or owners escaped without paying wages are slated to receive their wages and benefits this month, while workers from four other factories received it before Khmer New Year.
Labour Minister Ith Samheng said yesterday that it will take the ministry one month to pay the wages and benefits to all workers whose employers escaped without paying them.
“We have to spend about one month with some factories before we finish paying them. In order to tackle the problem for next time, we will make an amendment to the Trade Union Law regarding some articles which involve benefits for workers,” Mr Samheng said.
He said to prevent the same issue from arising, amendments were necessary and the government is also creating a committee for solving problems for garment workers whose employers flee without paying them.
Mr Samheng said that officials needed to check the workers’ payroll and calculate how much they should be paid so that it was acceptable to all.
“We will spend one month to complete all of this,” he said, adding that the workers had to produce enough documents to prove that they worked at the factories.
Mam Vannak, secretary of state at the Labour Ministry, said last month that the ministry was creating a committee, comprised of officials from relevant institutions, to settle the current cases and also solve the issue of factory owners fleeing.
The 2,542 workers who have already received their pay were from the Benoh Apparel, Fu Da Garment Industry, Great Honour Textile Factory and Chung Fai Knitwear factories.
In late February, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that the government was prepared to pay $4.6 million to 4,100 factory workers from nine factories whose employers had fled.
Mr Samheng said in March that the ministry would take action to stop factory owners from fleeing and also prepare ways to protect workers.
“The ministry is preparing regulations that will require all enterprises to pre-deposit money with the National Social Security Fund, so if the factories close unexpectedly, the NSSF will have the ability to pay workers on behalf of the factory,” he said.