Nearly 500 garment workers went on strike Monday demanding that factory management meet the last of an eight-point bargaining plan, factory workers said Monday.
Sao Sota, a member of the Free Trade Union of Cambodian Workers at the Grace Sun Garment factory, said workers would continue striking until factory management granted all of the union’s demands.
The point of contention, she said, is the factory owner’s refusal to pay workers 50 percent of their monthly salary when production ceases due to limited orders. Workers also are demanding that their $2.50 bonus be raised to $5, Sao Sota said. “All 500 workers will go on strike again [today] until we get a fair solution from the factory owner,” she said.
A Grace Sun Garment factory administrator said Monday that managers would not acquiesce to the final point, since an agreement on the matter was reached just two years ago.
In October 2001, factory management and workers agreed that if the factory stopped production for three days, managers would pay workers a $2.50 bonus plus 50 percent of their monthly salary if production was further delayed, said the representative on condition of anonymity.
“That is our agreement, but now the workers are asking to change our agreement. Tomorrow we don’t need to talk, we will only ask them back to work,” the administrator said.
Although most workers are dissatisfied with management’s refusal to grant all eight points, one laborer said he was pleased with at least one of the seven granted demands. Him Sovichay, 25, was permitted to return to work Monday after being suspended March 11 for refusing to work overtime, he said. His reinstatement was one of the seven points agreed upon, Sao Sota said.