With Higher Wages After Strike, Cintri Workers Back on the Job

After a two-day strike that saw trash quickly pile up along Phnom Penh’s streets, more than 1,000 workers for the city’s only trash collection company, Cintri, agreed to return to their jobs Wednesday after being promised pay raises.

In negotiations mediated by City Hall at Cintri’s depot in Dangkao district, the firm agreed to raise the salaries of its street cleaners, trash collectors and truck drivers, according to workers and representatives of the company.

Street cleaners, who make between $90 and $95 per month, will receive a $15 raise, according to Prak Sokha, a representative of the Cintri workers. Trash collectors, who make $105 to $120 each month, will get an additional $20, and truck drivers, who make $130, will receive an extra $50, he said.

“We accepted the agreement today because the company agreed to pay higher salaries and the company could not give more than this,” Mr. Sokha said.

“The company has the money, but the workers have most of the power, so we have the right to demand whatever benefits we want,” he said.

Mr. Sokha said strikes at Cintri, which have been organized by the Trade Union Federation for Increasing Khmer Employees Lifestyles, could be avoided in the future if the firm showed greater concern for its workers.

Seng Bunrith, a senior manager at Cintri, said that some workers returned to their jobs Wednesday, and that the firm would again be operating at full capacity starting today.

“All of them will be back to work tomorrow,” he said. “We resolved the issue.”

City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche said the municipality had sent 50 security guards from each of the capital’s districts on Tuesday to fill in for the striking Cintri workers.

Mr. Dimanche said that despite reaching a compromise Wednesday, Cintri would have to step up its efforts.

“We are not happy with the service of Cintri because the workers of the company have been striking. So after the strike, this company has to do double the cleaning,” he said.

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