Factory Staff Return to Work Ahead of Meeting

Scores of striking workers at the Angkor Beer-producing Cambrew factory in Sihanoukville have returned to work at the urging of the Arbitration Council, which has scheduled further talks for Monday, factory and union representatives said on Monday.

Chheng Sopheak, Cambrew’s head of human resources, said the council distributed a letter on Thursday urging warehouse staff to return to work and await a resolution, and that all had returned by Friday.

“The company’s production is operating as usual and all the protesters have returned to work,” he said. Several outstanding issues remain, however.

Last week, officials said the company agreed to two of the workers’ five demands: to pay union dues and end “discrimination” against warehouse staff.

The three remaining demands include the reinstatement of a fired warehouse manager, the dismissal of the factory’s Malaysian general manager and free meals during all shifts.

Ken Mao, a representative of the Cambodian Food and Service Workers Federation, said he would attend a scheduled mediation with the Arbitration Council on Monday, but added that he still felt that Cambrew “ignores and doesn’t respect employees’ rights.”

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