Sihanoukville Workers Agree To End Strike Walkou

A garment factory workers’ strike in Sihanoukville municipality was resolved this week, while another dispute in Phnom Penh is expected to go before the Arbitra-tion Council, union officials said Thursday.

More than 700 workers from Sihanoukville’s United Garment Factory agreed to return to work today after the factory agreed to pay them for three days’ work during King Norodom Sihamoni’s coronation, said Chea Mony, Pres-ident of the Free Trade Union of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

“The workers went on strike because they were forced to work during the King’s coronation, which is a public holiday, but they did not get paid,” he said.

Lak Koun, Union Garment Factory general affairs manager, said the employees weren’t forced to work over the holiday; they volunteered to work and would be paid.

“I wanted to resolve the strike, but the workers said that they wanted to wait until Chea Mony arrived,” he said.

In a separate strike that began on Wednesday, KP Garment Factory employees are demanding half-pay during a suspension from work, the Daun Penh district factory’s Youth Union Federation director Srey Pov said Thursday.

The factory suspended 160 full-time workers on Oct 29, claiming that there was no work for them to do, she said.

“I am afraid that the factory will close down, but they do not want to pay us,” she said. The factory removed sewing the machines before the strike, offering as an explanation that the machines were rented from another factory, she said.

“We want the factory to pay us 50 percent while they suspend us,” she said, adding that the time without work should not cut into the workers’ 18 annual days of unpaid leave. She added that workers are still owed their October salaries.

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