After Arrest at Samsung Supplier, Unionists Freed

Nine union officials arrested during a protest outside an electronics factory in Takeo province Tuesday afternoon were released that night after being “educated” and agreeing to obey the law, police said.

The arrests came amid demands by staff at the Kuantech (Cambodia) factory—which supplies electronics giant Samsung—to receive wages equal to those in the garment sector.

“We questioned them regarding blocking the street…and they confessed to their mistakes and promised not to do anything illegal,” provincial police chief Ouk Samnang said Wednesday.

About 400 workers at the factory walked off the job on June 11, claiming that managers had failed to adhere to an agreement to increase their monthly salaries from $123 to $128.

The Takeo Provincial Court on June 23 ordered the workers back to the factory, but 30 continued demonstrating through Tuesday, breaking a factory gate in the process.

Sam Sitha, a communications officer for the Trade Union Federation for Workers who was among those arrested, said he had advised the holdouts to return to work while the unions continue to push for higher wages.

“We will not give up,” he said.

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