More than 800 workers went on strike at K and P Garment Factory Limited on Monday after security guards tried to force an employee to quit for refusing to work overtime, a union official said.
Koeurn Phally, 23, said management at the K and P factory forced her to work Saturday after she refused to work overtime the day before.
Koeurn Phally said that when she arrived for work Monday morning, the manager ordered three security guards to force her to thumbprint a letter of resignation in exchange for $25 in compensation. She had previously refused to authorize the letter.
“Security dragged me by the hand from the first floor to the second, threatening me so I would stop work,” said Koeurn Phally, who has worked at the factory for five years.
She said she escaped from the guards and ran barefoot through the building to inform the factory’s union president of the threat. She said the factory line ground to a halt in protest as word of the incident spread throughout the building.
Free Trade Union of the Kingdom of Cambodia President Chea Vichea was present at the factory Monday morning to support the strike, which continued into the evening.
“I want compensation from the factory because they used violence against me,” Koeurn Phally said.
Keng Sreypov, FTU factory president, said the union would demand Koeurn Phally be compensated according to the labor law. She alleged that factory manager Lou San and administrator Touch Nary were guilty of repeatedly forcing overtime work and should be fired.
K and P Garment Factory Limited manager Lou San hung up when questioned about the strike over the telephone.
Forcing people to sign a letter of resignation is a trick used by factories to protect themselves before the law when firing workers, Cambodia Labor Organization Legal Supervisor An Nan said. “This is misconduct by the factory. They abused the labor law and human rights,” he said.