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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bavet strike ends at all but 2 factories

Bavet strike ends at all but 2 factories

Nearly all the factories in special economic zones (SEZs) across Svay Rieng’s Bavet town reopened over the weekend, ending a strike in which workers failed to coax employers into paying them a $50 bonus.

Pol Samphors, a garment worker at the Kingmaker factory in the Manhattan SEZ, said yesterday that management brought the more than 3,000 employees back into the fold by agreeing to pay half-day wages for shifts that went unfilled since April 21, the day they started striking.

“We did not get anything after protesting for more than a week,” she said. It wasn’t immediately clear how many other factories besides Kingmaker struck similar deals to pay employees half-day wages.

Thousands of workers commenced striking in mid-April, after Khmer New Year, when they learned that at least one factory had given workers a $50 bonus for not striking. The strikes quickly expanded, drawing workers from three SEZs in Bavet. One man was charged with property destruction.

Kem Chamreoun, a legal officer for the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, said yesterday that only two factories were still experiencing protests.

Has Bunthy, director of the provincial labour department, said some workers were still holding out for the half-day wage compromise, and about 10 per cent of workers at the Best Way factory still had not returned.

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