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Dewhirst management ‘intimidated’ workers

Management of an English-owned garment factory yesterday refused a request by union officials to meet to negotiate a possible end of a strike that started on Thursday.

Employees at Por Sen Chey district’s Dewhirst (Cambodia) Co, Ltd yesterday showed up for their shifts, but refused to work, employee Mean Sophyreak said.

Managers intimidated many trying to protest outside the factory, he added. “The factory [managers] threatened to cut our wages if we did not work,” Sophyreak said.

Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union legal officer Sean Yoth said that earlier, management declined a request to negotiate, primarily about employees’ demand they earn a minimum monthly wage of $138, rather than the new mandated figure of $128. Dewhirst officials couldn’t be reached yesterday.

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