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Ministry to hold meetings with workers and company

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Protesters are prevented from submitting a petition to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s residence in Phnom Penh a second time. Supplied

Ministry of Labour officials have said they will begin negotiations with Hana (Cambodia) 1 Inc and protesting worker representatives to find a solution over owed wages and payments.

The protest, which started in Por Senchey district and aimed to reach the Prime Minister’s house, had to be stopped by authorities for a second time.

On June 23, Hana garment factory announced the immediate closure of its business operation and promised to resolve employee payments in line with legal procedures.

However, Chet Tra, a worker laid off by the factory, said the situation had not been resolved successfully so workers have been forced to protest.

She said workers demand resolutions on five points, which are regarding an owed last month’s salary, payments in lieu of unused annual leave, seniority indemnity, compensation and damages.

Yet, she said the company only agreed to pay the workers’ last month’s salary, payment in lieu of unused annual leave and seniority indemnity.

“We demand compensation in lieu of prior notice and a damages payment as well as the other payments we are owed. We have tried to negotiate with the company but to no avail, that’s why we are continuing to protest,” she said.

She said workers need the pay-outs for rent and to support their livelihoods.

The ministry’s Labour Dispute Committee deputy secretary-general Vong Sovann yesterday came down to meet the protesters in person and said he will join the company and workers’ representatives at today’s meeting.

He said the company was struggling to pay compensation in lieu of prior notice and damages payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For two of the payments demanded by workers, the ministry will allow the company not to pay, due to the current global crisis,” Sovann said.

However, he said the meeting will still go ahead to find solutions.

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