The Labour Ministry has sent the dispute over unpaid wages and benefits between workers and the management of the shuttered The Great Duke hotel to the Arbitration Council after both sides could not come to an agreement.
Neang Sovathara, the council’s senior communications officer, said yesterday the ministry referred the dispute to it on Tuesday.
“The Arbitration Council has received the case and will determine when to hear the case,” he added.
Ly Tayseng, a lawyer representing The Great Duke Company, said yesterday that both sides could not reach a settlement because the workers did not agree to the amount which the company offered to pay them regarding outstanding seniority benefits.
He said that the workers were also demanding compensation for being laid off after the company closed down the hotel due to financial problems.
Mr Tayseng said the workers demand for compensation was beyond what the labour law allows for and the company had provided them with clear reasons for the closure.
“In fact, the company wanted to settle the dispute as soon as possible but the workers were adamant about getting a higher amount in seniority benefits and compensation,” he added.
Heng Sour, a Labour Ministry spokesman, said on Monday the ministry had to send the case for arbitration because both sides could not compromise on the payments.
Toch Kosal, a representative of the workers, said yesterday that the workers have been protesting outside the hotel for the unpaid wages and benefits ever since the company informed them it was closing down last month.
He said that more than a hundred workers will continue to protest daily until the company pays them their dues.
Another former worker, who declined to be named, said she had worked at the hotel for more than 20 years and finds it difficult to get another job because of her age.
“Those of us who have worked for so many years and can’t find jobs, really need the compensation to support our families,” she added.
In a letter issued on December 20 last year and signed by general manager Chakrapong Paladsongkran, the company had informed workers that due to financial reasons, The Grand Duke hotel will be closed down effective December 31.