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Duty calls: Strikers told they must go back to work

The Arbitration Council yesterday ordered protesting workers in Kampong Cham province to return to their factory today, as a union official reported that their numbers had swelled to nearly 3,000 outside the provincial hall in their third demonstration this week over an ongoing labour dispute.

Free Trade Union official Yan Rath Keo Pisey said yesterday  worker representatives from the Manhattan Cambodia garment factory, provincial labour officials and the deputy provincial governor had entered into discussions over nine remaining demands in the workers’ 12-point list.

“The workers will not come back to work,” he said.

“[They] plan to protest and block National Road 7 [today] if there is no solution from provincial authorities.”

The factory agreed on Tuesday to three of the demands, two of which were among three ordered to be implemented by the Arbitration Council.

Pen Sarath, secretary-general of the Arbitration Council, said  the order had been issued as a step towards settling the dispute.

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