Workers March to Ministry to Demand Backpay

About 50 workers from the Xin Chang Xin garment factory on Thursday marched for the second time to the Ministry of Labor to demand intervention after the factory allegedly failed to pay two months of wages, workers and a union representative said.

“We marched a second time because we need the ministry to intervene with the factory so it can pay us,” said Koy Savoeun, one of the workers.

Neak Nom, the union representative, said the factory was subcontracted to produce clothes for GAP and Nike.

It suspended operations in June due to a lack of orders and has twice given staff a date when they would be paid, but those dates have lapsed.

After a meeting with the ministry’s department of labor conflict this week, the factory said it would pay 50 percent of the money owed to each worker, but told them to wait until August 22.

“If the delay is too long, then we need to march to Hun Sen’s house. I need money to pay for my life,” said Ms. Savoeun.

Vong Sovann, deputy director of the ministry’s conflict department, said if the factory does not pay workers by August 22 “we will request they sell their machines.”

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