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About 300 workers protest to get sacked union reps reinstated

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Archive. KT/Chor Sokunthea

At least 300 garment workers at T&L factory in Phnom Penh’s Kamboul district staged a protest yesterday to demand the reinstatement of four union representatives who were sacked.

Pouk Chhorvan, a representative sacked, said the company fired him and three others on March 3 without giving any reasons.

“The company sacked us after we recently formed an in-house union,” he said.

Mr Chhorvan said T&L was a new company, which was less than a year old, and did not follow some regulations on working conditions.

He identified the three other unionists as Pouk Samoeun, San Samol and Mean Chamrong.

Mr Chhorvan said the workers will keep staging protests until they are rehired.

Mr Chamrong said the four of them had formed the union one month ago to protect the workers’ rights.

“We just formed an in-house union and the company fired us within a month,” he said. “It is a form of discrimination against unions because there is no issue regarding how we work in the factory.”

Mr Chamrong added that the company posted a notice with their photos, on its gates, stating that all four of them are not allowed to enter the premises to work.

He claimed among its shortcomings, the company does not have trucks to ferry workers to and from work and also does not have a factory clinic.

A worker Sim Chantha said the protesting workers have threatened to stop working with the company if it does not reinstate the union representatives.

“We want our four unionists to be reinstated as they always help us to demand better working conditions and dare to speak up when we encounter problems,” he said.

Chhun Pen Leng, an administration chief of T&L factory the company, is working to find a solution.

“We are working on this issue with representatives of the workers,” he said, but declined to elaborate.


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