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Push for canteens at all garment factories

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
Food for Thought: Canteens at garment factories to boost workers’ well-being. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The Land Management Ministry has complied with an order made by Prime Minister Hun Sen for factories to provide adequate places for garment workers to eat.

Land Management Minister Chea Sophara yesterday told provincial subordinates that canteens must be built in factories.

“In order to make it easier for factory workers, the Land Management Ministry has requested all land management departments to ensure that factories and enterprises that are still constructing their facilities also build a place for workers to have their lunch,” Mr Sophara said.

He added that many workers will benefit from the building of adequate places to eat.

Mr Hun Sen on Wednesday during a meet with workers in Kampong Speu province said that factory owners should consider the well-being of workers and construct canteens.

He noted that 83 percent of factories in the country have already complied and provided workers with places to eat.

“All factories need to have an infirmary and also proper places for workers to eat,” Mr Hun Sen said. “I think that in Phnom Penh it might be a bit difficult, but as for factories outside of the capital, I think that it would not be difficult at all.”

He said that building a proper place for workers to eat ensures the well-being of workers.

A factory worker purchases food from a vendor outside of a factory. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Cheng Heang, Kampong Cham provincial labour department director, said yesterday that more than ten factories in the province have already built canteens for their workers.

“We often tell and advise factory owners to build proper places to eat for their workers,” Mr Heang said. “Workers also have the time to rest after they finish their food.”

In order to ensure the well-being of factory workers, the Labour Ministry in May said that all factories across the country must have their own infirmary completed by the end of this year.

Labour Minister Ith Samheng said at the time that according to the Labour Law, all factories are required to have an infirmary, a place for eating food, a room for breastfeeding and a nursery room.

“Presently, 88 percent of a total of 1,200 enterprises already have infirmaries, 33 percent have a place to eat, 21 percent have rooms for breastfeeding and 28 percent have nursery rooms,” said Mr Samheng, adding that it really helped the workers’ welfare.

“I want to tell you all that for the year 2018, the ministry will push all factories to increase and improve this service, especially to have 100 percent completion by all factories in the country,” he said. “Inspectors from the occupational health and safety department have to check with the factory to ensure they have an infirmary in order to help and check the health of our workers.”

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