Nearly 50 vendors at the Lim Chheang Hak market in Meanchey district’s Steung Meanchey commune protested yesterday after being told rents would rise.
The protesters held photos of Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife, pleading for their intervention in the case, which will see yearly rents go from $600 to $800.
Vendor Kem Thy, 37, said the owner of the market told sellers of the increase recently and said vendors would be allowed to rent only one stall, rather than up to three like before.
“Now that type of contract is being eliminated,” she said.
“Vendors can only rent one stall, and the price has gone up. We want the same price and the ability to rent multiple stalls.
“Now the market has many customers,” she added. “But the owner wants to change the contracts. It will affect our livelihoods.”
Vendor Ming Thy, 39, said she heard the market owner was planning to sell part of it to build an apartment building.
“Now I rent two stalls from the market, one for me and one for my daughter,” she said. “But now I have lost one stall because of the new rules. It is not fair.”
Vendors also want five-year contracts rather than the one-year contract currently being offered.
A representative of the market who declined to be names said the market was simply reorganising its business structure to maintain order in the market.
“We have not cancelled anyone’s contracts,” the representative said. “We just want to organise the market better.”