Two Workers Reported Injured During Strike

Two workers were injured Thursday as violence flared during a strike at a garment factory in Chak Angre Leu commune in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district.

Workers Khen Sidan, 20, and Sem Sora, 26, were treated for minor injuries after being hit with stones at the Supreme Choice (Cambodia) Garment Ltd factory.

Striking workers said the stones came from inside the plant, but company officials claim they had been thrown by strikers.

About 40 workers gathered outside the plant around 6 am, as they had each morning since Monday, when they walked off the job to protest illegal firings.

The strike turned violent around 7:30 am, when company officials say the strikers began throwing stones and damaged the gate.

On Aug 15, the workers staged a peaceful strike and the company signed an agreement promising higher pay, more holidays, better treatment of workers by security guards and job protection for union activists.

The workers claim the company did not honor the agreement. Security guards on Saturday took union leader To Sinat to a manager’s office, de­taining her for two hours, workers said.

The workers walked out Mon­day to protest the firing of To Sinat and two other union leaders and threats against 10 others.

The workers say the three fired belonged to the National Inde­pen­dent Federation of Textile Unions of Kampuchea. Two had recently been elected by the workers to represent them in talks with the factory.

Factory manager Tong Chi said Thursday he does not recognize the new representatives. “We have had our own worker representatives since the factory opened’’ last Oct 11, he said.


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