Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Factory’s owner in crosshairs

Factory’s owner in crosshairs

Hundreds of garment workers demonstrate against Pine Great factory owner
Hundreds of garment workers demonstrate against Pine Great factory owner and appeal to government officials in front of Phnom Penh’s Social Affairs Ministry yesterday. VIREAK MAI

Factory’s owner in crosshairs

Some 400 garment workers yesterday gathered outside the Ministry of Social Affairs to plead for government intervention against a factory owner who fled without paying them overdue wages three months ago.

Khem Chamnan, a Free Trade Union representative from the Pine Great (Cambodia) factory in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district, said this was the third gathering in as many months.

“The employer of the factory fled in April without paying wages to the workers . . . but they did not get anything until now,” he said.

“I think the ministry hasn’t intervened soon enough in this case because it did not happen recently, but it was three months ago,” he said.

In early May, more than 700 workers from the shuttered factory were promised their back pay, only to arrive at the factory and find much of its equipment removed and the owner gone. Workers said they believed he fled to China.

Vong Sovann, deputy secretary-general of the Committee for the Settlement of Strikes and Demonstrations at the Social Affairs Ministry, said yesterday that a working group had been created to deal with the case.

“The committee met with the workers and union officials to find resolution, and we estimated that the workers would not get enough for their wage and benefit, so then we sent the case to the court to take measures through the law,” he said.

According to Sovann, the court will likely issue an injunction ordering the sale of all remaining equipment. If that is insufficient to repay the workers, he said, then they will likely issue a warrant for the arrest of the owner.

Speaking outside the ministry, a worker who declined to be named, said she intended to continue the protest until her wages are paid in full.

“I cannot allow the employer to walk out without taking responsibility. We worked for them too hard. They have to pay for our labour,” she said.


  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all