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Ministry looks to resolve widespread labour protests

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Labour Minister Ith Samheng presides a meeting which seeks to find a solution regarding widespread protests of displaced workers. Ministry of Labour

Minister of Labour Ith Samheng on Tuesday urged relevant officials to find a way to effectively address the plight of workers following massive unemployment and months of consecutive protests due to the pandemic.

In a meeting with the Committee for the Settlement of Strikes and Demonstrations, Mr Samheng said provincial authorities must closely oversee the resolution of issues raised by protesting workers in accordance with labour laws and regulations.

“The officials must assess their concerns and seek a solution for them, especially in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Mr Samheng also ordered committee officials to take necessary measures to deter any instances of violence which threaten the safety of the people and public properties. Anyone caught inciting illegal protests must be stopped immediately, he said.

“While efforts must be expended to protect the security of trade union members, protests must also be conducted in accordance with the law. In case of violence, those found culpable must be taken to court,” said Mr Samheng.

During the meeting, efforts to meet with the workers regularly to determine their living conditions were also discussed. In the past few months, protesters have been demanding for financial relief, especially regarding the payment of rent and utility fees.

Workers in need of legal assistance, added Mr Samheng, may contact the Samdech Techo Legal Team.

In related news, more than 600 workers of HANA garment factory in the capital’s Por Senchey district staged a protest Tuesday demanding their wages after the company halted operations due to a lack of orders.

You Savy, one of the workers, said the company announced its temporary closure on Tuesday, prompting fears of wages and benefits not being paid.

After a dialogue with the company representative, Ms Savy said they promised to pay all the workers their due.

According to Ministry of Labour spokesman Heng Sour, the ministry has made seven rounds of disbursements of out-of-job allowances to workers of the garment and tourism sectors who have lost their source of income because of the virus.

The disbursements totalled to $3.9 million and have benefitted 169,161 workers.

 

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