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Nearly 100 construction workers protest over unpaid wages

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
The construction workers protesting over missing wages in Chamkarmon district. Supplied

Nearly 100 workers of Chinese-owned Baye Construction Group Co in the capital’s Chamkar Mon district staged a protest on Sunday to demand missing wages.

Sovana Rith, a worker, said yesterday 150 workers had protested to demand unpaid wages for April and May.

He said the workers negotiated with the company but it did not pay their missing wages.

“We worked for two months but were not paid full wages,” Mr Rith said.

He said the workers earn between $300 and $400 each per month but the company paid them only $30 in three instalments spread over both months.

“They gave only $10 per time and paid us three times over two months,” Mr Rith said. “We do not have enough money to spend for our needs.”

Another worker Chiev Sophan, said she and her husband work with the company and both have not been paid full wages for two months.

“We depend on our wages to pay for our upkeep, including room rentals and bringing up our four children,” she said.

Ang Sereipesith, a district deputy governor, said yesterday local authorities had intervened in the case.

He said they met company representatives who said the company has money to pay the workers but an internal dispute is causing a delay in making the payments.

“I told the workers to stop protesting because we already have a solution,” Mr Sereipesith said. “We met with the company representatives and they said the company will pay their wages.”

“The workers will not lose their benefits. The company has money to pay all of them so I suggest that the workers should stop their protest which is affecting public order,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia said yesterday the government should extend the special allowance for laid off garment workers to construction workers too.

BWTUC secretary general Yan Thy said construction workers were also affected by the company’s shutting down or suspending operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Construction workers are finding it difficult to make ends meet during the pandemic,” he said. “They are not given wages or are paid late by the company which makes it difficult for them to meet expenses.”

Mr Thy appealed to companies to pay construction workers on time because most of them are paid daily and need the money for their expenses.

On the Baye Construction Group Co case, he said he would check on the issue because he only just received information about the protest.

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