Farm Workers Protest Over Pay in Kompong Chhnang

About 40 workers protested in front of the Kraing Skear commune office in Kompong Chhnang province Monday, claiming they hadn’t been paid for two months work on a farm after a broker allegedly stole their pay.

Workers at the protest yesterday morning said they started clearing forest in Toek Phos district prior to Khmer New Year and haven’t been paid for the past two months. “If we cleared the land, each family would get $100.

However, after two months we still have not been paid and we think that the money was used by [the broker], who asked us to clear the land,” said Chuop Chantha, 60.

The broker, Kong May, refuted the claim, insisting he paid the workers part of the promised salary and is awaiting money to pay them a second installment.

“I am waiting for money from the farm owner, but I don’t know when it will arrive. They are protesting because they think that I used that money for myself,” he said.

Commune chief Kong Sam Im said that more than 10 hectares of the 3,000-hectare plot, which is mostly owned by the military, is owned privately but he is not sure who the landowner is.

“I am not sure if some of the land belongs to another rich man, but the workers are protesting because they have not received any payment,” he said.

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