Factory Strikes End After Pay Disputes Solved

About 3,000 garment workers in Kompong Chhnang province agreed to end their protest and return to work Wednesday after confusion over their monthly salaries was cleared away.

Workers from the Chinese-owned Jiun Ye Garment factory in Samakki Meanchey district went on strike Monday after picking up their latest paychecks and mistakenly thinking that the figures already included their monthly bonuses, which should have made the figures higher.

Workers agreed to end the strike after the calculations were explained during negotiations with officials from the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), the Free Trade Union (FTU) and the provincial labor department.

“The workers were confused and thought the factory was cheating them of their money. But after checking and receiving an explanation from GMAC the workers said they would return,” said union representative Khim Chamnan.

“After the negotiations, the factory representative agreed to change the method of calculating the workers’ monthly salaries so that they would return,” he added.

In a separate case, more than 300 workers from the Hong Kong-owned Hung Tak Garment factory in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district went on strike Tuesday over late paychecks but agreed to return Wednesday, according to a representative for the workers and a factory official.

“After negotiations between both sides…the factory agreed to give workers their July salaries and workers will return to work,” said Yann Roth Keopisey, an FTU representative. “If the workers did not go on strike, the factory would not have responded to the workers.”

Cheng Serei Ratana, the factory’s administrative director, said the company apologized to workers and also agreed to pay them for   the day they spent on strike.

“We apologized for the late salaries but we could not collect the money as fast as they demanded,” Mr. Serei Ratana said. “We acknowledged that we always pay their monthly salaries to them on the 9th, but this time we were late and made the workers unhappy.”

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