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Kandal garment factory workers on strike to demand healthcare

Sen David / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Garment workers protest yesterday. Toun Saren

Hundreds of garment workers from a Prestige factory in Kandal province yesterday descended upon the Labour Ministry in Phnom Penh to demand better working conditions.

Last week, the workers went on strike and demanded that Prestige agree to provide social security cards, allow emergency leave days and pay their employees equally.

Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, yesterday said the workers went to the ministry because the company has yet to provide a solution.

“We want the ministry to intervene and find a solution for the workers,” Mr Sina said. “The workers are demanding that what is mentioned in the Labour Laws is enforced.”

Mr Sina also took the opportunity to accuse Cambodian Workers of Economic Union president Sreng Narith of being counter-productive as a ministry adviser.

“Sreang Narith has used his power to help the company [Prestige], that’s why in this case, no ministry official has intervened in the matter to find a solution,” Mr Sina said.

Mr Narith yesterday issued a statement denying the allegations made by Mr Sina.

He said that the company owner considers him as a friend who is able to help negotiate with workers.

“I went there as a friend of the company owner, who depends on me for help,” Mr Narith said. “After we met, the company and the workers agreed on nine out of 14 demands.”

“I don’t know why Pav Sina attacked me,” he said. “He walked out of the meeting.”

In separate news, the Garment Manufacturer Association of Cambodia yesterday urged the government to take action against those who break Labour Laws.

The statement was made after thousands of workers from Seduno Investment Cambo Fashion and W&D factories who are currently on strike over the companies’ failure in providing benefits as stipulated in the Labour Laws and more specifically, Directive 443.

According to the Labour Ministry, factories must pay workers a seniority payment once every six months and that factories must also pay severance upon conclusion of an employment contract.

“With regard to this implementation, GMAC requests that the government ensure maximum production stability of factories, free from disruption and chaos created by some bad unionists,” the statement said. “Any request made for the better implementation of the law shall be made in compliance with legal procedure, steering away from various illegal acts, particularly illegal strikes and demonstrations.”

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