Beer Factory Halts Brewing Amid Strike

The Cambrew beer factory in Sihanoukville suspended its operations on Tuesday, sending all of its 1,150 workers home as the impact of an ongoing strike at its warehouse rippled through the production line.

The brewery in Sihanoukville, which touts itself as the country’s biggest, produces Angkor Beer and several other brands including Carlsberg.

Chheng Sopheak, Cambrew’s head of human resources, said the factory shut down on Tuesday because the production line could not keep running.

“When one section of production is interrupted, the whole production line stops,” Mr. Sopheak said, adding that he did not know when operations would restart.

Mr. Sopheak said the number of workers picketing outside the factory dipped to about 50 on Tuesday—down from his estimate of 100 the day before—a far lower estimate than figures given by union representatives.

Cambodian Food and Service Workers Federation unionist Ken Mao, who has been representing the striking workers, said there were some 200 protesters outside the factory on Tuesday, down from 600 on Monday.

Mr. Mao said he was optimistic that a solution could be found soon, as the pressure had increased on the factory’s administration.

“If the company’s production line remains interrupted, it might lose markets to its competitors,” Mr. Mao said.

The union representative pointed to the success of a previous strike in 2014, which led the company to raise its base wage, as reason for hope.

“Cambrew now pays its employees fairly,” Mr. Mao said.

The recent strike, which began on Saturday, was sparked by the sacking of a warehouse manager, Lim Roth.

Workers say Mr. Roth was unfairly accused of taking bribes, and they are demanding his reinstatement as well as the dismissal of the factory’s Malaysian general manager, Y.K. Wong.

Mr. Wong has twice declined to comment on the strike.

Mr. Mao said the protest would continue today starting at 6:30 a.m.

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