Ex-Dream Land Workers Demand Severance

About 50 former employees of the recently shuttered Dream Land amusement park in Phnom Penh protested outside the park’s grounds on Monday to demand severance pay.

The protesters say Dream Land management told them that the park—which sits on land slated for a $3-billion, 133-story twin-tower development—would close at the end of March, but instead it shut down at the end of February with little advance warning.

Workers dismantle flooring at the Dream Land amusement park in Phnom Penh on Monday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)
Workers dismantle flooring at the Dream Land amusement park in Phnom Penh on Monday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

“The company told us they will close at the end of March, but it was shut down in February, so we are demanding that the company pay salaries for March, as well, because they fired us immediately,” said former cashier Pich Bopha, 20.

Chin Puthponreay, 26, a former supervisor, said he and other Dream Land employees were seeking one month’s pay and a portion of their annual bonus as a severance package.

Dream Land management could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Che Sam Ath, financial officer for the Cambodian Labor Union Federation, said the former workers had asked him to represent them in a meeting with management today.

“When a company shuts down, that company has to pay compensation to staff,” he said. “The company has only paid the final salary but has not offered other compensation.”

Last month, Dream Land general manager Hing Sophan told reporters that the park was closing because its five-year lease on real estate across from the NagaWorld casino had expired.

Developers from the Thai Boon Roong Group have proposed building twin skyscrapers on the site that, if constructed, would be among the tallest in the world. Thai Boon Roong operates the InterContinental Hotel in Phnom Penh and is owned by reclusive tycoon Teng Bunma, who has not been seen in public in years.

The ambitious project was inaugurated last week during a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s nephew Hun To, National Military Police Commander Sao Sokha and municipal governor Pa Socheatvong, among other officials.

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