Workers Block Road in Protest Over Bonuses

About 2,000 workers from the Ghim Li garment factory blocked traffic Monday on National Road 4 in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district, demanding the Singaporean-owned factory raise their bonuses and reinstate an employee the workers say was improperly sacked.

“I joined the protest and blocked the road because I wanted to pressure the factory and the government to find a solution for us,” 27-year-old worker Meng Srey Tea said.

“We want the factory to reinstate the machine worker and give 4,000 riel [about $1] for a lunch allowance.”

The workers said they are also demanding a transportation stipend. From about 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m., workers stood across the road, creating a traffic jam stretching about 1 km.

The workers left the road only after district authorities promised to find a solution for them.

“We had promised them that we will go to the factory [today] and find a solution for them, therefore they dispersed,” Pur Senchey district governor Hem Darith said.

The workers said they plan to block the road again today if authorities do not help negotiate a compromise. Representatives of Ghim Li could not be reached.

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