Garment Workers Continue Protests, Demand Back Pay

About 300 garment workers protesting at Phnom Penh Mu­nic­ipal Court on Tuesday de­manded back pay from the Ho Hing Gar­ment Factory, alleging that it shut down without notice last month.

The workers have held several demonstrations this month already, one in front of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house and the other at the Ministry of Labor.

“I came here to demand my salary for November,” said Svay Sovannara, a garment worker. “I have protested over one month but there is no solution.”

The Ho Hing Garment Factory closed Nov 29, paying the majority of its 600 workers neither their $45 salaries nor compensation, the protesters said.

“We will stand here until there is a solution,” said Sen Sokha, another garment worker.

According to the Labor Law, factories must provide their employees with three months’ supplementary wages before closing their doors.

The workers’ case was sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court to resolve, said Khem Bun Chhean, a facilitator at the Labor Ministry based in Russei Keo district.

“The factory proposed to shut down temporarily because its workers had striked illegally and destroyed the factory’s property,” he said by phone Tuesday.

Theam Simon, assistant to the factory’s director, denied it has shut down, saying it only suspended operations. The company is suing union leaders for $200,000, claiming they hurt factory operations by leading too many strikes.


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