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About 400 footwear workers protest over unpaid wages

Sen David / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Some of the protesters wait outside the Kun Da factory in Phnom Penh. KT/Siv Channa

About 400 footwear workers of Kun Da Footwear Co. Ltd staged a protest in the capital’s Dangkor district yesterday to demand missing wages and seniority pay.

Chhin Vanna, one of the protestors, said the factory suspended its operations at the end of last month and the employer failed to show up to pay them.

“Our employer has fled. No one has come to find a solution related to our seniority pay,” she said.

Ms Vanna said for the last wages, the company only paid some workers and not all of them.

The workers are demanding their seniority pay and that they worked with the company for nearly five years.

Another worker Kun Nenh said the company has been selling some of its machinery but until now they have not paid them.

“The company keeps promising day after day that it will pay our last wages and some benefits but until now we have not gotten anything,” she said.

Ms Nenh said workers saw the company transporting some machinery out of the factory to sell which is why they are demanding that it speeds up paying them.

“We workers are finding it difficult to find money to pay for our housing and other expenses,” she added.

On April 29, the company informed the workers it was no longer able to operate and had decided to sell off its machinery to pay seniority payments to all of them.

On Monday the Garment Manufacturing Association of Cambodia released a statement saying so far 80 factories have suspended their operations, with 60 more in the pipeline, which is wreaking havoc on more than 150,000 workers.

The statement said this will impact not only the workers but also the two million Cambodian family members who depend on them.

On April 2, GMAC appealed to garment, footwear and travel goods buyers to continue sourcing from Cambodia.

In Monday’s statement, the association said it has received commitments from some buyers, for which GMAC and Cambodian people are grateful.

However, GMAC noted the COVID-19 situation has since worsened and affected global economy, especially in Cambodia.

“We understand the difficulty buyers are facing but we do strongly appeal to all of you to honour your payment for goods received or in transit to you,” it said. “Cambodian manufacturers are already suffering from many cancellations and with no new orders they cannot withstand any payment default.”

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