Caltex Strike to Continue After Negotiations Fail

Union representatives and officials from Caltex held a two-hour meeting at the company’s office in Phnom Penh on Tuesday but failed to come to an agreement to end a strike of the U.S. petrol giant’s workers.

About 300 Caltex workers have been on strike across the city since May 12, demanding a monthly wage increase from $110 to $160.

“It showed that the company does not want to find a solution for the workers since all our demands have been denied,” said Sar Mora, president of the Cambodian Food and Service Workers Federation, after the meeting.

“Since there is no any solution, within 48 hours this issue will be sent to arbitration,” he added.

A representative for Caltex said the company is still reviewing its options and will meet with union representatives soon.

Caltex workers are also demanding a babysitting center, the hiring of more cleaners, an annual party and an annual bonus of a month’s salary.

On Friday, U.S. oil giant Chevron, which uses the brand name Caltex in Cambodia, appeared to have ended the strike by offering a one-time bonus of $20 if workers returned to their stations during a two-month wage study.

The union had agreed in principle, but demanded that the promise of the bonus be put in writing—a condition that was never met, Mr. Mora said.

Yoeun Reth, 37, a Caltex worker, said Tuesday that he was angry over the company’s refusal to meet workers halfway.

“We feel upset with the company’s decision since we tried to soften our stance and let them study for two months while they provide a $20 bonus,” Mr. Reth said. “But they do not agree with our request, therefore, we continue to strike until there is a solution.”

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