More than 800 garment workers in Kandal’s Khsach Kandal district protested on Wednesday to demand their last wages and severance pay after the company suspended its operation due to the shortage of raw material.
Mao Samoun, a local unionist, said that last week workers at the Crystal Martin (Cambodia) Limited agreed to have their contracts terminated and accepted the last wages and severance pays but on Tuesday the company chose to suspend its operation for two months.
“The workers do not want the company to suspend its operation but they want it to terminate their contracts, pay them their last wage and severance amount due,” Mr Samoun said.
He said the workers are concerned they will be laid off for good.
Lim Sarum, chief of the provincial labour resolution office, said the dispute between the company and workers was referred to provincial labour department yesterday.
“The labour department received this case and we are working on it to find a solution. Till now no resolve has been reached,” Mr Sarum said.
Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, said the Labour Ministry should set up training centres for laid-off workers so they can learn other skills.
Prime Minister Hun Sen said last month garment workers who have lost work due to temporary factory closures amid the Everything-but-arms withdrawal and the COVID-19 outbreak will be paid 60 percent of the minimum wage.
Of the 60 percent, he said 40 percent will be the factory owner’s responsibility and 20 percent will be provided by the government.
According to the Labour ministry, about 7,000 garment workers will face layoffs if the delivery does not materialise. If the shortage drags on, about 90,000 workers will be suspended at the end of this month due to COVID-19 virus.