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Bank pays out after factory boss ‘flees’

Workers at a garment factory that closed without warning last week received payment yesterday for nearly a month and a half of work, but some are still waiting for bonuses owed to them.

More than 400 workers lined up at the Canadia Industrial Park gates, behind which their now-defunct employer Hong Kong Yu Feng factory used to operate, to collect salaries.

“The owner of the Canadia Bank paid about $100,000 in workers’ wages,” said Seang Sambath, the president of the Workers Friendship Union Federation (WFUF). “We will discuss benefits and bonuses owed to the workers on June 19, then decide when they can receive these benefits.”

It was unclear yesterday whether Hong Kong Yu Feng has declared bankruptcy.

A secretary for Canadia Bank board chairman Pung Kheav Se confirmed that the bank, which has no ties to the industrial park, paid the salaries.

“We don’t want [workers] to make chaos in the industrial park,” said the secretary, who asked the Post not to use her name. She said Kheav Se is “overseas” and could not answer questions. “The boss of the factory . . . just ran away, and we cannot contact him.”

Canadia Industrial Park officials could not be reached.

In a meeting held before payments were doled out, it was decided a working group comprising WFUF, the industrial park and Ministry of Labour representatives will look over documents regarding benefits owed to workers then send a figure they deem fit to the industrial park’s owner, according to a report of the meeting by Krouch Sophary of the Labour Ministry.

A representative of the industrial park promised to hold on to sewing machines and other items that could be liquidated in the interim, Sophary’s report says.

The money came right on time for Heng Srey Khouch, whose $200 salary arrived as her rent was due. Although happy to receive it, Khouch said she won’t budge until all money owed to her is paid.

“I will remain jobless until I receive all benefits [owed],” Srey Khouch said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SEAN TEEHAN

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