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90 percent of garment workers turn up for duty on New Year’s Day

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Garment workers work on the first day of Khmer New Year following Goverment’s call. KT/Khem Sovanara

The Labour Ministry said more than 90 percent of garment factory workers reported for work on the first day of Khmer New Year yesterday.

Ministry spokesman Heng Sour expressed the ministry’s gratitude and praise for the workers who heeded the government’s call to forego this year’s New Year celebrations in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus in the Kingdom.

“We are joining together in the fight against COVID-19. My New Year’s wish for this year is for the virus to disappear from Cambodia and the world so our doctors, health officials, workers, employees, civil servants, soldiers and people can resume their lives as usual and our economy, as well as the rest of the world’s, will get back to normal,” he said.

Far Saly, president of the National Trade Unions Coalition, said checks on the first day of Khmer New Year showed more than 90 percent of garment workers, including union representatives, went to work yesterday.

Heng Sour thanks workers who heed the government’s call KT/Pann Rachana

“I noticed the garment workers understand the current situation and are following the government’s measure [to contain the virus spread],” he said. “I appeal to them to continue working for all four days of the Khmer New Year.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday wrote his Khmer New Year greetings to all Cambodians on his official Facebook page.

“For the Khmer New Year, I wish all people, monks and civil servants happiness and good health, including avoiding getting COVID-19,” he said.

Mr Hun Sen also thanked the public, civil servants and garment workers for understanding the need to continue working during the Khmer New year period as part of the government’s efforts to curb COVID-19 spread.

Garment workers at a factory during Khmer New Year for the first time ever. The government had to cancel this year’s New Year holidays over fears people going back to provinces could lead to a spike in COVID-19 cases. KT/Khem Sovannara

He also appealed to the public to follow the Health Ministry’s guidelines, including practicing good hygiene.

The Labour Ministry has warned employees, who have taken unpaid leave and left for their home provinces to celebrate the New Year, that they will be quarantined for 14 days before being allowed to resume work.

It noted they will not receive any wages during the quarantine period. However, those who have gotten permission, will still be paid during the self-isolation period.

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