Union Dispute Ends in Compensation Deal

A two-week dispute over transportation costs has ended for about 70 workers at the Broad­land Garment Industries factory in Tuol Sangke commune, Russei Keo district.

The 70 will now be employed at a new Broadland factory in Stung Meanchey commune. Another 148 workers will leave the company, taking payments of about $100 each in compensation, ac­cording to an agreement reached Thursday morning.

Worker representatives, company officials and an official from the Garment Manufacturers’ Assoc­iation of Cambodia met at the Min­i­stry of Labor and Social Af­fairs to hammer out the deal, said Chhorn Sokha, union representative of the Coal­ition of Cam­bodian Ap­parel Work­ers Demo­cratic Union.

“We have to agree,” she said. “If we continue to complain, when­ever the court opens a hearing, we would run out of money.

Chhorn Sokha still contended the company acted illegally. Work­ers were laid off several months ago, and a dispute en­sued over whether the company would pay workers for their extra transportation costs to reach the new factory. The union was not convinced a new factory even existed, and alleged workers were being misled.

The union representative said workers had no choice but to take the money. “It is the final choice,” said Chhorn Sokha. “Whatever the workers decide, they are not happy, but we decided to take the money and get something rather than nothing.”

 

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