A two-day strike at the New Star Shoe Factory in Sihanoukville ended Monday when all 1,700 employees returned to work after managers agreed to rehire 14 employees.
George McLeod, international liaison officer with the Free Trade Union of the Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, said the company agreed to rehire the workers after mediation Monday by Ministry of Labor officials.
Company officials could not be reached for comment.
McLeod said the entire workforce walked off the job Saturday over the firing of the workers, eight of whom are union activists. Mediators suggested the union pursue its case before the newly created labor arbitration council, he said.
McLeod also said a tour of the factory found “20 to 30” workers using polyisocyanate adhesive—considered dangerous to both skin and lungs—without protective gear.
He said the union will investigate.
Strikes and walkouts have become increasingly common in Cambodia as local union members better mobilize workers. Workers, particularly those in the garment industry, have had some success in improving factory conditions and wages, which remain some of the highest in the region.