Union: 10,000 Workers Strike At 7 Factories

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)


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