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Factory protest ends as closure report quashed

Sum Manet / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
A file photo shows factory workers on strike. Supplied

Staff at the Nantai factory on Veng Sreng street have agreed to return to work after nine days on strike that included workers camping in front of the company gates to stop owners from removing equipment.

About 1,000 workers from the factory in Phnom Penh’s Stung Meanchey district went on strike after hearing a rumour the facility would be shut down over a change in ownership.

The workers claimed they were given $60 severance and were due more under the Labour Law. Fearful that equipment would be removed without their dues being paid, they began camping outside the factory.

The Labour Ministry’s dispute resolution department weighed in on the strike early this week, informing the workers that it could not locate representatives of the factory and that they should file a complaint to the court.

But Stung Meanchey district deputy chief Dy Rothkhemarun oversaw talks between staff and their employer yesterday, reaching a deal to have them return to work.

Charles Tse, a product development manager and representative of the Nantai factory owner, said workers went on strike after the general manager of the factory claimed it would be shut down and there would be a change in ownership – which was false.

“The factory owner asked the manager to come back and explain why he said what he did to the workers, however, he did not return at the owner’s request,” Mr Tse said.

“The rumour about the shutdown and change of ownership was false, but has lost the company a lot in terms of production and exports.

“We are going to ask the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia for help to find the manager responsible.”

Mr Tse added the factory would pay workers for the days they were on strike.

Mr Rothkhemarun said negotiations to end the strike were positive for both sides.

“We tried hard to negotiate for good solutions. The factory agreed with our workers’ demands and the workers agreed to return to the factory,” he said.

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