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‘Verbal abuse’ surfaces at Ocean

An investigation by garment factory monitor Better Factories Cambodia into the alleged sexual harassment of four female employees at Ocean Garment uncovered extensive verbal abuse, according to BFC technical adviser Jill Tucker.

A BFC team visited the Dangkor district site on August 24 after a group of more than 2500 workers rallied behind six women who claimed manager Faruk Ahamed made sexual advances, striking from August 11 until last Friday.

Tucker said that although relations in the Bangladeshi-owned factory were very poor, BFC could not confirm the sexual harassment claims, which are still being dealt with by police and Phnom Penh Municipal Court after the women filed criminal complaints almost two weeks ago.

“However, the workers were able to tell us what was said in Bengali but didn’t know what it meant – things like ‘you’re a dog’ and even worse things you wouldn’t want to print,” she said, adding Ocean management had not denied verbal abuse was occurring.

Company director Mamunar Rashid said while an internal investigation was pending, Ahamed had been suspended indefinitely.

To contact the reporters on this story: Claire Knox and Mom Kunthear at newsroom@phnompenhpost.com

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