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Co-Seek garment factory workers protest outside the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday, calling for a halt to the sale of factory equipment until they receive severance pay. Photo supplied
Co-Seek garment factory workers protest outside the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday, calling for a halt to the sale of factory equipment until they receive back wages. Photo supplied

Closed factory’s staff call for court warrant

Some 50 representatives of 400 workers at the Co-Seek garment factory in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district protested in front of the municipal court yesterday seeking a warrant to prevent the shuttered factory’s property from being sold until their back wages are paid.

Lor Sopheak, a deputy president of the Cambodian Youth Power Union League, said workers had become concerned that the factory’s assets were being sold off after they saw some equipment being moved out in August, shortly before work ceased in early September.

“The court official told the workers that the court will issue a warrant after the court gets enough documents,” he said, adding that workers “always sleep [outside the factory] to protect the company’s property” from being sold.

Hon Seng Hon, one of the protesting workers, said workers still hadn’t been paid for August and that the sale of the company’s assets was the only way to finance their back pay.

“We are afraid that property was sold off without finding a solution for us, because up till now . . . our wage is not yet paid, and we are having difficulty finding other jobs immediately,” he said.

Sen Siha, another worker, said the factory had paid some workers their base wages, but not overtime or extra benefits.

Reached yesterday, factory administrator Loo Kokchhay would only acknowledge that “some workers had already been paid their wage, and some had not”.

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