More than 10,000 workers from seven garment factories in Phnom Penh and Kandal province have been on strike for about a week, demanding increased pay and improved working conditions, union and labor officials said Monday.
The workers, from Zheng Yong, Jian Sodiao, Bright Sky, Rainbow, SL and Flying Dragon 3 garment factories in Phnom Penh, and from the Dazoo factory in Kandal’s Ang Snuol district, are also demanding yearly bonus payments and stricter adherence to the labor law, Free Trade Union President Chea Mony said.
In some cases, Chea Mony said, factory managers have promised to review the strikers’ demands and asked workers to come back to work. Others, however, remain in deadlock.
At Zheng Young, where workers burned tires in protest on Saturday, no agreement has been reached after two separate meetings between factory representatives, union leaders and government officials, FTU Deputy Secretary-General Mann Seng Hak said.
“Protesters will continue their strike until they find a resolution. But I’ve heard that factory owners have sued,” he said.
Ath Thon, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers of Democratic Union, said workers for Flying Dragon 3 and SL agreed to return to work today after striking since Feb 22, on the promise that factory owners would meet some of their demands.
Bright Sky workers were also scheduled to return to work today, after owners said that they too would meet some worker demands, Chea Mony said.
Khiev Savuth, bureau chief of the labor conflict department at the Ministry of Labor, said that further negotiations were set today for Rainbow, Dazoo, Jian Sodiao and Zheng Young.
Ken Loo, Secretary-General of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, warned that such ongoing strikes could ultimately drive investors to take their money out of the country.
“It’s definitely not good for investors to hear and see these things happen,” he said.
(Additional reporting by Whitney Kvasager)