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Contract changes anger workers

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
The sports shoe factory workers want their employer to honour their original contracts. Supplied

About 2,000 sports shoe factory workers at Pou Yuen (Cambodia) Enterprise protested yesterday after their employer sought to change their job contracts from one year or six months to three months.

Sok Sophal, Sen Sok district’s Teuk Thla commune police chief, confirmed yesterday that the workers protested in front of their factory but declined to comment further.

Protester Srey Mom said the workers decided to walk out because they could not accept the factory owner changing their working conditions.

“We protested in order to find a resolution for us because the employer changed our work conditions from one year to three months, or from six months to three months,” she said.

“Workers who have a one-month contract have to change to three months.”

Ms Mom said the workers demanded the employer retain their original contracts, but the factory did not agree and accused the staff of protesting illegally.

The workers are due to gather in front of the factory again today.

The workers also demanded the factory does not cut their wage while they are protesting.

Factory officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.

While visiting more than 15,000 workers and employers representing 10 factories in Por Senchey district this month, Prime Minister Hun Sen called on garment factory owners to reduce the use of short-term employment contracts.

He said short-term contracts threatened the health of employees.

“When contracts are only for three months, the workers worry and are concerned about whether the factory will continue to employ them or not,” he said.

“We have to find a resolution to this problem.”

President of the Cambodian Labour Confederation Ath Thor said more than 90 percent of workers were on short-term contracts.

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