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Go ahead and walk, city tells bus drivers

City Hall yesterday said that 11 drivers for Phnom Penh’s municipal bus lines striking for higher wages can find employment elsewhere if they find their salaries unacceptable.

Strikers yesterday gathered at the capital’s Night Market, where the newest of the city’s three bus routes begins. They are demanding between $280 and $300 per month, wages they say were previously guaranteed once three months of work passed.

Drivers for the public transit system earn $180, drivers’ representative Tieng Kimsan said.

“We cannot accept this, because our wage is only $180, and we have to pay rent and support ourselves, so we would like the government to review this again,” Kimsan said yesterday. “We work for our livelihood; if we don’t earn enough, we must protest.”

But the strike yesterday seemed to be of little concern to City Hall, whose spokesman, Long Dimanche, said drivers can find work at a different bus company.

“We will find new people to replace them if they think their wages are too little,” Dimanche said yesterday. “They can find jobs in the private sector.”

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