More than 600 striking workers set fire to tires outside Bu Min Cambodia garment factory in Phnom Penh on Wednesday and demanded the factory owner fire five managers.
“We never expected to burn tires, but the factory owner has not responded to our demands to fire those employees,” said Pav Ngim, a Cambodian Union Workers leader at Bu Min.
The workers, who have been striking since Friday, allege that the five employees—the factory’s general affairs officer, deputy production manager and three group leaders—verbally abused the garment workers.
They also accuse some of the managers of demanding bribes from anyone who wanted to be hired to work at the Meanchey district factory. Repeated calls to the factory’s owners for comment went unanswered Wednesday.
Meanchey district and Chak Angre Krom commune police quickly extinguished the blaze for fear it would spread, commune police chief Nhonh Bothan said.
Som Aun, president of the Cambodian Labor Union Federation, said union representatives, district inspection officials and the factory owners met shortly after the tires were set on fire but were unable to find a solution.
The owners have asked for witnesses and more evidence regarding the allegations before it acts, Som Aun said.
Pav Ngim said a complaint was sent to the Arbitration Council and if the Council does not find a resolution, the workers will protest in front of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house and the National Assembly starting Monday.