Factory Head Wants Riot Investigated Into Riot

The director of the Phnom Penh textile factory that was trashed by employees last week says he will ask the government to investigate.

More than 200 protesters ransacked Tommy Textile MFG Co, Ltd’s Dangkao district factory on Wednesday, overturning cars and eventually destroying offices, machinery and dormitories.

“The government should do something, especially [investigate] the small group that started the problem,” said Jack Yang, director of the factory.

Chhup Heng, deputy police chief of Dangkao district, said Sunday there was no need to investigate because management and workers had agreed to settle issues about labor conditions. Police made no arrests in the riot.

Yang, however, said after in­vesting more than $10 million in its two years in Cambodia, his Taiwanese company should be entitled to some assistance from the government.

Damage to his factory totaled more than $230,000, with more money likely to be lost in late- or no-delivery penalties issued by client companies. Tommy Textile makes towels for US companies like Walt Disney, Nike, and Kmart.

Workers were protesting labor standards at the factory, union and police officials said Wednesday. But Yang said they were also protesting the strict practices of some of his Taiwanese staff

One sign the protesters carried had a picture of a man hanging by his neck from a tree that read, “We Must to Kill Chang.” Chang is one of the Taiwanese staff, Yang said, adding that three of his Taiwanese staff were injured in the riot.

Chea Vichea, president of the Free Trade Union of the Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, said last week he regretted that the protest turned so violent.

Cambodia’s garment industry has seen numerous protests recently, and some analysts say such unrest will discourage potential investors.

Word of the riot will spread in Taiwan, Yang said. “This image to project to the outside world is definitely damaging to the country.”


Related Stories

Latest News

The Weekly DispatchA new weekly newsletter from The Cambodia Daily delivering news, analysis and opinion to your inbox. Published every Friday at 11:30am. Sign up today.