Beehive Radio Employees on Strike; Sonando Defiant

Ten of Beehive Radio’s 22 employees protested outside the station’s headquarters in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district on Wednesday in a fifth day of strikes over owner Mam Sonando’s decision not to pay last month’s wages to four staff members he claims failed to regularly show up to work.

Mr. Sonando has since dismissed two of the 10 striking employees as a result and refused to give them their severance pay, according to Chhoy Bun Sochea, 31, who manages Beehive’s online presence.

“On March 6 and now again today, Mr. Mam Sonando has so far fired two employees over baseless accusations,” he said.

Mr. Bun Sochea said office worker Sim Sarun was fired on Friday and that another staff member, Thoeun Thea, was sacked Wednesday in retaliation for the continuing strike.

Mr. Sonando, an outspoken government critic who is more accustomed to being on the side of protesters, said the dismissals were work-related and in accordance with internal company policy.

“Some days they showed up to work, some days they didn’t, without bothering to inform me,” he said.

“So I have no intention of paying them severance or salary because they disturbed staff and had no respect for discipline.”

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