Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday praised factory employers and employees for working together harmoniously, saying there are no longer “gangsters” inciting workers to protest.
He made the comments in a speech to more than 10,000 workers from 13 factories in Phnom Penh’s Por Senchey district.
He said he was pleased to see that day-to-day problem solving in factories had improved.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank factory owners, unions and workers for making factories harmonious,” he said. “I also see that the situation where we had gangsters in factories is no more.”
Mr Hun Sen said that previously, there were groups of gangsters who used to incite workers to protest.
“We do not let it happen any more,” he said, explaining that in the past a group of just 50 staff could disrupt work for up to 1,000 employees by encouraging them to protest.
“We have to respect the rights of protesters, but the protesters also have to respect the rights of other workers who do not join the protests,” he noted.
“Remember that gangsters in factories always have someone behind them, such as the opposition party or unions,” he added.
Far Saly, president of the National of Trade Unions Coalition, however alleged that any gangsters at factories are not workers inciting protests, but could probably be soldiers or police employed to guard the facilities.
“I still worry about workers being abused by some of these gangsters who work for factory owners,” he said.
Despite this, Mr Saly said he appreciated the fact the Prime Minister was interested in the issue.