Kandal Garment Workers Strike, Threaten Roadblock

Garment workers in Kandal province who have been on strike since Monday for a raft of new benefits Tuesday threatened to block the road in front of their factory if management failed to meet all their demands by today, a union representative said.

Seang Sambath, president of the Workers Friendship Union Federation, said more than 1,600 workers from the Now Corp. factory in Ang Snuol district have been on strike since Monday, calling on management to agree to their 12 demands.

The factory has already agreed to eight, including permission for pregnant workers to leave 10 minutes early each day, but is holding firm against four others, including a daily $1 lunch allowance and an on-site nursery.

“The workers were treated badly in the factory for almost nine years because they had no union to protect them,” Mr. Sambath said, adding that he helped them to unionize last week.

“Tomorrow, we will block the road if there is no solution.”

Now Corp administration assistant Met Veasna said the factory had always followed the Labor Law and accused the union of acting unreasonably at a time when factories were closing down.

He said the union’s four outstanding demands were being assessed by the Arbitration Council.

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