Ministry Helps Job-Hunters

Cambodians looking for work in one of Phnom Penh’s garment factories will soon be able to get help from the Ministry of Com­merce.

The ministry will help job-seekers fill out and process applications for the city’s factories without charging a commission, said Lim Pengheng, director of Cabi­net at the Commerce Ministry.

Job applicants allegedly have to pay go-betweens about $80 to $120 to procure jobs in garment factories, Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh said Saturday.

Garment factory workers in the Sam Rainsy opposition party estimated the fee to be as high as two months pay for an average garment factory employee.

The ministry officially has not yet approached garment factory owners, said Roger Tan, head of the Gar­ment Fac­tories Assoc­iation.

Questions on how the arrangement would work have not been discussed, Tan said. “We don’t know what they are planning to do with this project. Do we have a choice in what kind of people we hire or are we going to have to accept their lists?”

Lim Pengheng said his office plans to help about 100 people get jobs in the municipality’s garment factories in the upcoming weeks.

On national television Saturday night, the Minister of Commerce invited individuals who want help filling out job applications and getting interviews to come to the Ministry of Commerce building beginning this week.

Sam Rainsy, labor rights act­i­vist, applauded the proposal but said it was an election ploy.

“I de­plore that only two months before the election they decide to ad­dress this issue,” Sam Rainsy said.


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