More than 500 Quantum Clothing garment factory workers are on strike over missing benefits and wages after the factory’s American owner sold it to a company from China.
The workers are demanding all missing wages and benefits be settled before they return to work.
Keo Samoun, a worker, yesterday said the factory was sold without any prior notification, noting that the factory had changed owners three times without ever clearing missing benefits and wages.
“We want the factory to clear our previous benefits and wages before changing owners,” Ms Samoun said, adding that the factory has failed to provide benefits such as seniority indemnity and severance.
Man Seng Hak, deputy president of the Cambodia Free Trade Union, yesterday said companies are required to clear all wages and benefits before selling their business.
Mr Seng Hak noted that Quantum Clothing was owned by an American company and it was recently sold to a Chinese company.
He said that the old company has the obligation to settle all dispute related to garment workers’ wages and benefits.
“They want their benefits and wages from the old company cleared,” he said. “It’s okay if the new employer renews their contracts, but the old company must give the workers their dues first.”
“The workers are afraid of losing their benefits after working with the new company,” Mr Seng Hak added. “The workers think that new employer means new management, and when this happens, something always goes wrong.”
He noted that Quantum garment factory workers have in the past demanded better working conditions.
“After changing companies, the workers begun reporting that the new company treats workers very differently,” Mr Seng Hak said. “Some workers have reported that the company violated their rights and that many workers do not agree with the new company’s leadership style.”
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.