Garment Factory, Workers Ink Deal After Protesters Run Over

A factory manager accused of driving into a crowd of protesting workers has been fired as part of a deal reached between the Phnom Penh factory and workers over the protesters’ demands, a union said on Tuesday.

Workers said over the weekend that Yem Sochet, the administration manager of International Fashion Royal garment factory in Pur Senchey district’s Choam Chao commune, had run over protesting workers at the factory on Saturday, though police said Mr. Sochet had been surrounded in his car and was trying to turn away.

Workers Friendship Union Federation secretary Phoung Leakhena said the workers and factory management had met on Tuesday morning to hash out a deal.

“The company compromised on most of our requests, and we have agreed to settle,” Ms. Leakhena said.

The company agreed to fire Mr. Sochet as well as a company adviser—identified as Chan Nara in a workers’ letter requesting negotiations—whom the workers accused of having taken their union representative to the police over the labor dispute, she said.

Kheang Vannyrath, the factory’s administration and accounting assistant, who was part of the negotiations for the factory, confirmed that the company had reached an agreement with the workers, and that Mr. Sochet was fired on Saturday and Mr. Nara was to be removed on Tuesday.

The workers requested an increase in their daily lunch stipend and received a 500 riel boost, half of their original demand, and asked that the lunch stipend be paid twice a month instead of monthly, which the company agreed to, Ms. Leakhena said.

The company also agreed to pay half of maternity leave payments before a worker goes on leave, and to bring two suspended staff members back to work.

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