Hundreds of security forces yesterday prevented almost a thousand garment factory workers from marching to the residence of Prime Minister Hun Sen in order to seek intervention.
A worker, who declined to be named, said police officers stopped them while they were marching in Meanchey district.
“After we walked about 500 meters along Street 217, police stopped us but there was no violence,” the worker said.
On Wednesday, the same workers marched to the Labour Ministry after W&D fired their colleagues during a factory-wide strike in December.
Earlier this month, W&D said most of the workers could be allowed to return to work. However, it said 127 were permanently sacked for inciting other factory workers to go on the strike.
At the ministry, officials told the workers that a solution is to be provided on Wednesday.
Chea Sokpha, a representative of the workers, said workers did not agree to wait that long.
“We could not wait until Wednesday and we are afraid that there will be no result on that day because they [ministry officials] have again delayed finding a solution,” she said. “That’s why we attempted to march to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house to seek intervention.”
Another worker said the sacked workers have been unemployed for months and are in need of an income.
“Some of them were evicted by their house owners and we wanted to meet Prime Minister Hun Sen to petition for his help in the matter,” Ms Sokpha said.
During Wednesday’s meeting with Labour Ministry officials, the workers were told a meeting with company representatives will be arranged. The workers were advised not to hold any marches.
Deputy district Governor Dy Roth Khemrun intervened in yesterday’s march and asked the workers why they were disrupting public order.
He told them their representatives had agreed to wait for Wednesday’s meeting.
“Your representatives have already agreed to the March 6 meeting so please wait,” he said. “If you protest and block roads again, it is illegal.”