About 600 workers went on strike at a Phnom Penh garment factory yesterday, but agreed to return today following negotiations with factory management, union and factory representatives said.
The workers, from New Wide (Cambodia) garment factory in Dangkao district’s Choam Chao commune, walked out to demand better working conditions and that the factory drop pending court cases against two National Union Alliance Chambers of Cambodia leaders and seven union representatives based in the factory, NACC President Som Aun said.
“We spent half a day on strike to negotiate with the factory owners’ representative and we have solved the three most important points,” he said.
The factory filed complaints against the nine union leaders and representatives four months ago alleging that they incited a strike at the factory, Mr Aun said.
The two sides reached agreement on three key issues today, Mr Aun said. The factory owners will drop the complaints against the two union leaders today, have agreed to talk about the rest of the workers’ demands, and have said they will withdraw complaints against the other seven representatives in the future, he said.
“Now the company agreed to withdraw their court case tomorrow, and the case about the other seven union representatives in New Wide factory will be withdrawn later, if both sides cooperate closely with each other,” Mr Aun said.
Ath Thon, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union and leader of the confederation that organized September’s mass garment sector strikes, said CCAWDU representatives had been fired from the factory five months ago.
“This…factory did not obey the law. Now I am complaining to the buyers and keeping watch on the factory’s working conditions,” Mr Thon said.
Chu Manpun, general manager at New Wide, said that the factory had agreed to all of the union’s demands.
“First we agreed to drop the complaint against the two NACC leaders, and later on we will solve the [other] problems,” Mr Chu said.
“There are no more problems with our factory,” he added.