Workers Hold Machines Ransom Over Wages

More than 20 workers in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district are holding a small garment factory’s sewing machines as ransom over unpaid wages, said a district official.

The workers decided to disrupt production at the Korean-owned S-One factory in Choam Chao commune on Sunday after the owner failed to pay their wages on time, said deputy district governor Khem Sun Soda.

In an effort to resolve the situation, factory owner Byun Yong Jig agreed to pay back half of last month’s salary on April 10 and the other half the following month, Mr. Soda said.

But many workers have already left the factory to look for work elsewhere rather than wait to be paid by Mr. Yong Jig, who Mr. Soda said has a reputation as a heavy gambler.

“Now almost all of the 75 workers have moved to work at another factory because they can’t wait to get their money. We are not sure Mr. Jig will pay and adhere to the contract because he doesn’t even have a passport,” said Mr. Soda.

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