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Textile workers on strike over unpaid wages in Kandal

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Hundreds of workers rally outside of their workplace yesterday. Kheng Phearun

More than 100 textile workers for Zhong Yin Cambodia in Kandal province went on strike yesterday after the company failed to pay wages for two months.

Pha Pat, a worker, said the company has the habit of paying its workers late, but it failed to pay wages in October and November.

“The company said it did not have enough money to pay workers – and we were unsure whether the company was supposed to continue production or stop,” Ms Pat said. “The company did not inform its workers.”

“They promised us that we will be paid on November 27, but now it is December and the company has not paid us,” she added. “We waited for two months for our wages.”

Chhouk Bora, another worker, said he has worked with the factory for six years. He said workers find it difficult to live without their wages.

“We need money to pay for water, electricity and rent,” Mr Bora said. “The company has not paid our wages for two months. Our wages must be paid every month so we can pay our bills.”

He said delayed and unpaid wages are not the only problem with the company. He said NSSF cards are unable to be used in health centres because the company did not pay their social security dues.

“Workers want to check their health in hospital, but they cannot use their NSSF cards because the company did not pay for many months,” Mr Bora said. “It is very difficult for workers to receive healthcare in state hospitals. Workers do not have money to be checked in private clinics.”

Thul Neang, director of the provincial labour department, declined to comment yesterday, noting that he was in a meeting to find a solution.

Representatives of Zhong Yin Cambodia could not be reached.

Om Leng, chief of Sitbou commune in Sa’ang district, where the factory is located, yesterday said the strike has been peaceful and the company needs to pay the wages.

“Local authorities went to observe the strike,” Mr Leng said.

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