W&D workers back to factory following Hun Sen’s appeal

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
The workers have been protesting for months. KT/Chor Sokunthea

W&D Garment Company has accepted the return of more than 1,000 of its sacked workers following an appeal by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The workers were sacked following strikes and protests that began in December over unpaid seniority indemnity benefits.

On Monday, Mr Hun Sen appealed to the company to take the workers back.

“I appeal to W&D to allow the workers to return to work because they are no longer demanding for seniority indemnity, they are demanding to return to work,” he said. “All sides must understand each other. Workers must not make excessive demands and hold strikes.”

Hsu Shun Feng, director-general of the company, yesterday issued a statement saying that the workers will return to work this week.

“Following the appeal of Prime Minister Hun Sen on March 25, the company has decided to accept all workers back to work and keep their [accumulated] seniority bonus,” the statement said. “Workers have to resume their [work] on March 29 and 30.”

It noted that according to Article 332 of the Labour Law, the company is not obliged to pay wages and benefits for the period in which the strike and protests were held.

“Workers have to respect and comply with the internal rules of the company when they return to work,” it said.

Saing Chanry, a representative of the workers, yesterday said the workers agreed to return to work this week after it was decided they will do so during a meeting yesterday.

“We held a meeting after the company’s announcement saying that it will allow us to return to work,” Ms Chanry said. “Every one of us will return to our workplace this Friday and Saturday.”

However, she said that the workers are demanding that the company pay the workers their wages during the strikes and protests.

“We made a request for this point to the company and if the owner rejects us, then we will file a complaint with the Arbitration Council,” Ms Chanry said, noting that the workers protested for three months and three days. “We will accept any decision made by the Arbitration Council.”

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