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Garment workers protest following factory closure

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Workers claim they have not received their wages. Facebook

Nearly 200 workers for Hong Xing garment factory in Meanchey district are protesting over unpaid wages and missing seniority benefits after the company shut down last week.

Hin Sokroeun, a worker, said the company on December 9 paid the workers $100 each for November and announced the factory’s closure.

Ms Sokroeun said workers are protesting because not only are they missing the rest of their November salaries, but also seniority benefits.

“On December 9, the company told workers there will be no more work, that these doors are now closed,” she said. “The workers have been sleeping in front of the factory because we are afraid the company will move their goods and machines without paying missing wages.”

Ms Sokroeun said the company told workers they would have new employers at the factory, but she has not heard anything new since.

“We have not seen our employers nor received new information,” Ms Sokroeun said. “This is why workers are guarding the factory day and night.”

She said petitions were submitted to local authorities and the Labour Ministry.

Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour could not be reached for comment yesterday. However, Ms Sokroeun said ministry officials will visit the factory today.

Captain Em Pheary, chief of Stung Meanchey commune police, said police are monitoring the factory.

“Police are protecting the workers during their protest in front of the factory,” Cap Pheary said.

Chin Sony, a legal official for Cambodia Workers Labour Federation Union, yesterday said Hong Xing belonged to a Chinese national.

Mr Sony said his union has observed that the company did not pay the workers their wages and benefits.

“It is not looking good when the mostly female workers are sleeping in front of the factory, but they have no choice,” he said. “They fear the company would transport their goods and machines without providing solutions to the workers.”

Mr Sony said the union will continue to monitor the situation today.

“The workers have protested for many days by sleeping outside,” he said. “We will monitor this case and see whether Labour Ministry officials find a solution for them.”

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