Thousands of workers at the Wing Star Shoes factory demonstrated Tuesday for the second day in a row outside the factory in Kompong Speu province after a meeting between union and company officials failed to reach an agreement that would end an ongoing strike, worker representatives said.
About 7,000 workers protested Tuesday and Monday morning. They are demanding the company raise their bonuses by $5 and stop committing what workers say are abuses of the Labor Law.
“I told workers to continue to protest tomorrow unless they get an appropriate solution,” said Phorn Phal, deputy secretary-general of the Free Trade Union, who attended Tuesday’s meeting at the provincial labor department.
The workers are demanding 11 points, including an increase from $10 to $15 in their monthly bonuses, which include lunch and transportation costs. They also want the company to stop forcing employees to work overtime, stop cutting monthly wages during strikes and remove male security guards from outside the factory’s female restrooms.
Provincial labor department director Sim Rattanak said Tuesday that Wing Star Shoes officials agreed to seven of the demands, but disagreed on four other points.
“The meeting is a failure because the workers’ representatives walked out after the company refused to raise [the bonus pay] from $10 to $15,” he said, adding that the case would now go before the Arbitration Council at the Ministry of Labor.
Mr. Rattanak declined to elaborate when asked about what demands were agreed upon.
Mao Chhiv Song, an adviser to Wing Star Shoes who attended Tuesday’s meeting, said it was “impossible” to reach an agreement because the workers are making demands outside the scope of the Labor Law.
“We are worried about the protest because it would affect the company’s business, but we cannot stop the workers from protesting because it is their right,” Mr. Chhiv Song added.
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