Demanding compensation, 50 former security guards for the British Embassy protested peacefully in front of the embassy building after being laid off on Tuesday.
The protesters said the embassy gave no notice that they were being fired and hired security guards from MPA security company to replace them.
“We will look for a lawyer to protect us and demand our compensation according to the Labor Law,” Mol Veasna, a former security guard, said outside the embassy Tuesday.
The British Embassy countered the protesters charges in a statement released Tuesday,
“All those former Embassy employees made redundant have been offered settlement packages that are over and above those required to be offered under the provisions of local labor law,” the statement said.
According to the embassy, the security work was outsourced because of “The need to maintain an effective, credible and cost-effective security force…. A recent internal review was conducted to ascertain if these objectives were being met. The conclusion was that they were not.”
Former security guard Yun Chhayueng complained Tuesday that the guards were not given advance notice of the layoffs.
“They didn’t tell us one month in advance,” she said. “They just told us 10 minutes ago.”
She also alleged that the embassy did not give the guards adequate holidays.
A British Embassy official contacted on Tuesday declined comment and referred a reporter to the press statement.
Though police have regularly used violence to disperse garment factory and other peaceful demonstrations in Phnom Penh over the past two years, the embassy protest was not dispersed or disrupted on Tuesday.
“We didn’t disperse them because they were peaceful,” said Touch Sarin, police chief of Daun Penh district’s Srah Chak commune.
Touch Sarin said that the former guards intend to protest at the embassy again today.