One Garment Factory Closes, Another Reopens

A garment factory that threatened to close last week made the decision official Thurs­day and promised to pay compensation to workers, while another factory that closed in Novem­ber has apparently reopened in what union leaders now call a bid to deceive former workers.

Garment Manufacturer’s As­sociation official Cheat Khemara said Thursday that he had re­ceived a fax from the owner of Kandal province’s You Cheng garment factory announcing its closure.

Cheat Khemara said that the owner will travel from China on Jan 10 at which time he will pay workers and shutter the operation.

Hu Shu Hau, You Cheng’s manager, was detained last week by Immigration police inside Phnom Penh International Air­port as she was allegedly attempting to flee to China without paying $40,000 in wages the factory owes to 400 workers.

Her passport was confiscated until a resolution to the dispute was reached.

In a separate dispute, the Cam­bodian Defenders Project on Thursday offered a lawyer’s assistance to laid-off workers of the former Daun Penh district K&P Garment Factory, which ceased operations in November.

Though K&P still owes workers’ salaries, it has reopened under a new name, claimed K&P union leader Chhoeurn Saveth. Workers have filed a complaint seeking lay-off compensation for 300 workers and back pay for 49 others. “The factory did not inform workers that the factory closed, they just took the sewing ma­chines away,” Chhoeurn Saveth said.

Free Trade Union president Chea Mony said Wednesday that he has seen former K&P General Manager Lou Sang running the Moon Star factory in Stung Meanchey district.

Meanchey district labor In­spector Kuy Sambath confirmed that K&P had changed its name to Moon Star, but Moon Star rejected the assertion.


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