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No show by W&D management at meeting with workers

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Thousands of workers were fired after holding protests. KT/Mai Vireak

Planned negotiations between W&D Cambodia Co Ltd and its workers’ representatives yesterday over a labour dispute were scuttled because the management’s team did not show up.

Chea Sokpha, a representative of the workers, said that the meeting at Meanchey District Hall did not yield any results because the company did not send any representatives.

She said provincial authorities suggested that another meeting be held on Monday, but the workers did not agree.

“We have stopped believing that any solution can be found because they [the management] keeps delaying meeting us,” Ms Sokpha said. “Both the authorities and company keep blaming the workers for the dispute.”

The dispute started two months ago when the company fired more than 1,000 workers who protested to demand indemnity payments in a lump sum instead of twice monthly. Workers then staged protests to demand that the company take the sacked workers back.

A worker, who declined to be named, yesterday said that management did not appear to want to negotiate with them.

Local authorities have suggested the meeting be rescheduled for Monday. KT/Mai Vireak

“They keep delaying and want to reschedule the meeting to Monday,” he said. “We cannot keep waiting for a meeting because some of the sacked workers have been evicted by their landlords because they could not afford to pay rent.”

The worker added that Dy Roth Khemrun, deputy district governor, yesterday told them that the employer did not turn up for the meeting because he was abroad.

“The deputy district governor told us that the authorities could not contact the employer because he is abroad,” he said. “That is why the authorities suggested to delay the meeting until Monday.”

The Labour Ministry on Tuesday reported that garment workers went on strike 47 times in 2018, a 51.5 percent drop when compared to 2017’s 97. It added that 10,890 workers went on strike in 2018, a 66.1 percent drop when compared to 2017’s 32,133.

It said that among the 47 strikes, six cases involved blocking roads, one involved violence, 35 involved government intervention and three involved marches.

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