Sacked Employees Demand Severance Pay

Nineteen former employees of British American Tobacco (BAT) protested in front of the company’s Phnom Penh offices on Tuesday demanding severance pay after being fired in late December, a union leader said.

“The employees were fired without notice and were not given severance pay. For those who work for more than three years, the company must pay them one month at minimum wage for every three years,” said Rim Bora, president of the Federation Union of Khmer Democracy Workers.

“[T]he 19 employees received a letter issued by the Arbitration Council on March 2 which ordered the company to pay, but the company rejected it,” he added.

He said a total of 27 employees were fired last year but only the 19 had sought his union’s help.

The company says its offers to meet with the fired workers were ignored.

“[W]e had made efforts to invite them to come to a meeting to resolve the problem several time through direct discussion with the company…but they failed to show up,” BAT spokesman Um Rattanak said in an email.

Mr. Bora said the company and workers were scheduled to meet for mediated negotiations at the Labor Ministry on Friday.

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