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Workers gather outside Prime Minister Hun Sen's residence in Kandal province yesterday to protest against irregular monthly pay. Pha Lina

Factory faulted: Hundreds strike over late pay

Hundreds of garment workers in Kandal province staged a strike yesterday as another 400 of their co-workers protested in front of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Takhmao home.

“We cannot bear it anymore,” said garment worker San Sokhun, who said her employer, Korean-owned First Gawon Apparel, is chronically late on payments and often forces workers to work overtime. “So the protest broke out.”

Factory owner Mercedes Cha acknowledged the factory had had difficulties paying workers on time because of the “low efficiency” of workers. Last year, the factory lost a large buyer and had trouble finding orders, she said, and workers went on strike in May as well.

“We are trying to find some solution, how we can increase our efficiency,” Cha said.

Union leaders were critical.

“If the factory is not capable of running this factory, it should stop and sell it to other people in order to avoid causing difficulties for the workers who depend on the salary,” said Free Trade Union representative Yong Leap.

Provincial labour officials said the case will be forwarded to the Arbitration Council.

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