VIP Guards Return to Work

More than 200 security guards for VIP Co returned to work Tuesday, ending a two-day strike after the management agreed to pay their salaries, officials said.

Khieu Savuth, director of the Labor Ministry’s labor inspection department, said the protesters were satisfied with results of a lengthy negotiation between workers and the management.

“The problems were solved,” he said. “No one faced getting fired because of the strike, and the salary was paid after the meeting.”

One third of the 600 VIP security guards participated in the work stoppage, which started Monday when workers were not paid, though pay day had passed.

“We need our salary for the Khmer New Year,” said Meong Pros, one of 200 protesters who slept overnight in front of the company on Kampuchea Krom Boulevard. “But they said they wanted us to wait until [April] 18th, after the new year.”

Protesters said the management has forced its employees to work overtime. They also de­manded that salaries be raised to $80 for regular security guards and $100 for supervisors. Current salaries range from $50 to $60.

The management could not be reached for comment.

Chea Vichea, president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, who helped protesters negotiate with the management, said the management agreed to set the payday on the 8th of every month and promised to announce a salary raise by the end of the month.

The security guards, mostly former police officers and military personnel, work at 39 garment factories, hotels, night clubs, karaoke parlors and gas stations.

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