Phnom Penh municipal gardeners held a protest at Independence Monument yesterday following rumours their jobs were to be farmed out to a private contractor.
Attempting to downplay the rumour that had drawn more than 50 of the city’s 282 gardeners onto the streets, City Hall spokesman Mean Chanyada insisted yesterday that a final decision was yet to be taken.
“It is just a plan at the moment – it has not been decided yet. So please don’t worry, it is not a big problem,” he said. But workers fear that privatisation could mean layoffs and pay cuts.
“They want to take us from being state employees to private workers,” gardener Bou Sinoun said. “We think the company will reduce the number of workers, so some of us worry we’ll lose our jobs one day if we go over to the private sector.”
San Srey Mom, also a gardener, said she feared holiday pay would be withheld under a private employer, adding that their total monthly salary was $125. Neither knew which company was being put forward to take over their contract.