Unpaid Workers Threaten Factory Destruction

Workers camped outside the Lecotex garment factory Sunday threatened to destroy the factory’s equipment and materials if owners don’t settle a salary dispute by the end of today.

The more than 100 workers sitting outside the factory in the Chamkar Mon district said they have been sleeping there for three days to prevent factory owners and operators from removing machines or clothes during the protest.

Workers said the dispute erupted when factory owners refused to pay an estimated 400 employees for their last 40 days of work.

“We will burn car wheels and throw stones into the factory if they refuse to pay us by Mon­day,” said Heng Liny, a factory worker. “We can not wait for them. They keep saying they will pay us this day or that day, but they always lie to us.”

Workers said the owner of the company and its machinery is responsible for paying their salaries.

But the company owner is out of the country and cannot be reached, according to sources close to the dispute. The previous owner of the company’s machinery said she is willing to partly pay the workers but is unable to pay them in full because the current owner has not yet paid her for the machinery.

The woman, who did not want to be identified, said she has agreed to pay the workers one month’s salary for fear they will damage the equipment. Workers rejected her offer, saying they are owed for a full 40 days.

Police officers said they are patrolling the factory to make sure nothing leaves the premises until the dispute is resolved.




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