Wing Star Threatens to Close Factory Over Strike

Wing Star Shoes Co. Ltd. officials threatened Thursday to shut down their factory in Kompong Speu province if workers continue to strike.

Talks between union representatives and company and government officials have broken down.

More than 7,000 workers have been on strike since Monday, protesting outside the factory and demanding that the company raise their bonuses by $5 and properly enforce labor laws.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, talks also failed.

“The company side does not accept the workers’ demands, and they also threatened to shut down the factory if the workers keep striking,” provincial labor department director Sim Rattanak said after Thursday’s meeting.

The workers want an increase from $10 to $15 in monthly bonuses, which help cover 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.

Phorn Phal, deputy secretary-general of the Free Trade Union, said the workers are tired of meeting without any result. “We plan to continue to strike tomorrow, and the next protest will be worse than the previous time,” he said.

Mao Chhiv Song, an adviser to Wing Star Shoes, said it is “impossible” to find a solution.

“The company is still not able to accept the workers’ demands because we have lost a lot of money during the strike,” he said. On Wednesday, Mr. Chhiv Song said Wing Star Shoes has lost about $150,000 per day since Monday.

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