Cambodia Brewery’s Promoters Go on Strike

More than 100 beer promotion workers demonstrated in front of Cambodia Brewery Ltd’s sales office on Monivong Boulevard on Wednesday, claiming the brewery’s accountant has been taking commission earned from their individual beer sales.

The “beer girls” staged a two-day strike ending Wednes­day, boycotting distribution of Tiger, ABC and Anchor beer at the restaurants where they work and refusing to return to work until the accountant, Mom Sarun, is fired.

A Cambodia Brewery spokes­man dismissed the allegations of wage-skimming, instead ascribing  the strike to manipulation on the part of Doung Sopheap, the women’s 35-year-old supervisor who was fired Tuesday.

The workers’ unofficial spokeswoman, 22-year-old Li Ly, ex­plained their grievances: “Some of us have worked as Tiger beer promotion girls for many years, and before, we went on strike to de­mand [Mom Sarun] be moved,” as they at that point suspected the head office accountant of skimming money from their paychecks.

“[Mom Sarun] just came back to the head office three months ago, and she has been cheating our salaries again, between $8 and $20 per person,” Ly Li said. “How much money is she getting from cheating 300 promotion girls?”

“An employee had his contract terminated due to poor performance. The termination was fair,” the brewery spokesman said. “But the man knows some of these ladies, and he has got them to create a bit of havoc.

“If someone has been taking their income, why wait till now to tell us?” the spokesman, who asked not to be named, said. “We always ask the workers to tell us their grievances, but we’ve had no complaints so far.”

More than 30 armed police officers in riot gear arrived to disperse the crowd of young women Wednesday.

“Why do the police move us from here?” asked one protester who did not want to be named. “It is our office. We don’t want the police to solve this for us with their guns.”

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