Factory Ousts Manager After Strike

A Chinese-owned garment factory in Kandal province fired its administrator and suspended a union leader after 700 workers revolted against the pair on Wednesday, accusing them of arbitrarily firing more than 10 workers for minor mistakes, employees said.

The workers from the H.R. Grand Garment factory in Kien Svay district returned to work on Thursday after Ung Mengsry, the administrator, was fired and Yin Sophandara, a factory representative of the Khmer Union Federation of Workers Spirit, was suspended, said Khut Lonh, a representative of the workers.

“We wanted to remove them because they did many wrongs to the workers that we could not accept,” Mr. Lonh said, explaining that the pair ran the factory in an authoritarian style, with Ms. Sophandara reporting minor errors to Mr. Mengsry, who would fire workers.

“They colluded with each other to catch the workers’ mistakes and then fire them from the job. When we went to ask the Chinese managers, they said they did not know about that issue,” he explained.

Mr. Lonh said the pair fired at least 10 people since June 2015 and treated most workers rudely. “They had bad behavior, and [Ms. Sophandara] insulted workers, like: ‘You’ll die with no land to bury you.’”

A contact for the factory listed by the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia would not confirm that the administrator had been fired and union leader suspended, saying only that the problem had been resolved.

“It’s over now,” he said, declining to provide his name and identifying himself only as a manager.

Hak Srey Pov, a representative of 100 workers who supported the pair, said she was shocked by their removal. “Those protesters demanded to remove them from their positions, and they claimed that both had poor behavior, but I think if those people had bad behavior, they should be educated or scolded,” she said.

Thung Theang, director of the provincial labor department, said the problem appeared to be resolved. “Both sides agreed to end the issue by themselves, but if they protest [again], we will send our officials to…solve the problem.”

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