Garment workers protest again over unpaid wages

Sen David / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
The workers say frequent late salary payments are affecting their livelihoods. KT/Mai Vireak

More than 500 garment workers of the Gawon Apparel Co. in Kandal province’s Takhmao town again staged a protest yesterday over unpaid wages, the second such demonstration in as many months.

Workers at the factory, which employs nearly 1,000 labourers, first protested over unpaid September wages last month.

Their September wages were eventually paid, but the factory has again lapsed on issuing the workers’ wages, this time for October pay that was due on November 14.

Prak Chanthon, an official with the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, said after multiple protests, the September wages were eventually paid, incrementally.

But now the workers are again waiting for late payment and it is affecting their livelihoods, he said, adding that the workers blocked road number 210 in Prek Samrong commune’s Takmov town for two hours during yesterday’s protest.

“They are demanding the company pay their October wages,” he said. “Now it’s November 20, and those wages should have been paid a week ago. The workers have no choice but to protest and block the road.”

Mr Chanthon noted that the protest was peaceful and did not result in any violence.

The factory will pay the workers if they return to work. KT/Mai Vireak

“We just protested to block the road in peace. We did not do anything violent. After negotiations with the authorities, we opened the road.”

Chan Ta, a worker at the factory, said that the company always pays the workers’ wages late every month.

“We need our wages on time to pay for rent and everything for our families, but the company pays us late all the time; it makes life very difficult,” he said.

Thul Neang , chief of the Labour Department in Kandal province, said in a statement that the company will pay each worker a minimum of $50 for their October wages once they return to work, with the remaining being paid soon after.

“On 22 November, the company will pay them their full October wages,” he said. “But the workers must come back to work as usual.”

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