No Deal After Sorya Mall Vendors Protest

After closing their shops in protest Wednesday morning, more than 100 vendors at Phnom Penh’s Sorya Mall convinced the shopping center’s managers to sit down for negotiations over their rental fees but walked away from evening talks without an agreement.

Bun Nara, 34, a clothing seller, said the vendors were demanding a 30 percent reduction in their rent, the removal of two of the mall’s managers and lower fees for vendors who want to transfer ownership of their shops in the middle of a contract period.

Dozens of vendors sat outside the mall holding up signs stating their demands in the morning, and met with managers in the evening.

Mr. Nara said the managers proposed lowering rent by 20 percent, but only on the condition that vendors stick to strict business hours, pay rent on time, keep their shops clean and clearly display the cost of items for sale.

The vendors, however, demanded a 25 percent decrease in their rent and the meeting ended without an agreement, he said.

Chea Sopheak, the mall’s general manager, said the mall needed more time to review the vendors’ demands.

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