After Factory Ignores Ruling, Garment Workers to March

Employees of the Ocean Garment factory in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district continued to protest Monday against management’s decision to ignore an Arbitration Council ruling on owed wages.

Cheng Chhorn, secretary general of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, said the workers will march to the Labor Ministry today, and may also petition Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cabinet, which usually means a brief meeting with a cabinet representative at Wat Botum Park.

“Almost certainly we will march to Hun Sen’s cabinet because representatives of the Labor Ministry give us nothing,” he said.

The Arbitration Council ruled last week that employees of the factory—which suspended operations in May due to a lack of orders—were each entitled to $120 furlough pay.

Vong Sovan, deputy director general of the Ministry of Labor’s general department of labor conflict, requested that the union cancel the march and file a complaint in court.

Dem Srey Mom, 29, one of the workers, said they had no time to wait.

“Tomorrow, if the factory gives us no result, we need to march to the Ministry of Labor because I need money to pay for my rent and electricity.”

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