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Unions discuss plight of suspended and laid off workers

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
CLC president Ath Thorn leads the meeting of local unions in Phnom Penh. CLC

The Cambodia Labor Confederation yesterday held a meeting with representatives from 60 local unions to discuss the plight of workers who have lost jobs or are suspended from work in factories, which have stopped operations due to falling orders caused by the pandemic.

Ath Thorn, CLC president, said yesterday the local unions raised their concern that more factories will shut down and the affected workers will face financial problems, including being unable to service bank loans.

He said some suspended workers had been paid some wages from their companies while others had not and they are also waiting for the government’s special aid to be disbursed.

Mr Thorn said that during the meeting, local unions were advised to continue promoting awareness among the workers about measures to prevent the spread of the virus in the workplace.

“Even though the COVID-19 situation in Cambodia is improving, we still appeal to local unions to continue to promote measures such as practicing good hygiene and social distancing and wearing face masks,” he said.

Phin Sophea, a representative from CCAWDU, yesterday urged company owners to be responsible and pay workers their due.

“We urge company owners not to flee and pay wages according to the labour law because workers are facing hardship during this difficult period,” he said.

Mr Sophea also suggested that the government should speed up the special payments to suspended workers and ensure that companies which shut down do pay the workers their dues.

He added that recommendations made during the meeting would be forwarded to the Labour Ministry for consideration.

Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour said last week 237 garment and footwear factories in the country applied to suspend operations due to the lack of orders from overseas customers, especially from Europe and the US, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He said as a result, 110,000 garment workers would lose jobs.

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