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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Factory land sale contested

Workers from the shuttered Chung Fai Knitwear factory block National Road 2 yesterday to protest the fact that the sale of the company’s assets will not be enough to pay their back wages. Photo supplied
Workers from the shuttered Chung Fai Knitwear factory block National Road 2 yesterday to protest the fact that the sale of the company’s assets will not be enough to pay their back wages. Photo supplied

Factory land sale contested

Days after Kandal Provincial Court allowed the sale of the shuttered Great Honor garment factory’s assets, including the land, a Cambodian businessman has filed a complaint saying the land belongs to him and was only being rented to the firm.

Last week, the court issued a directive to sell the factory’s equipment and land in order to pay the more than 900 workers waiting for their back wages.

However, Chan Hoeun, a lawyer for Charm Shine Import Export, asked the court on Friday to block the sale of land, which was on a 10-year lease.

“We have the land title and rental letter for the factory’s land. So, this land does not belong to Great Honor and it is not part of its assets,” he said yesterday.

The owner, Sung Chung Kwan, leased the land from 2011 to 2021 for $40,000 per year to Great Honor, and workers and authorities had mistakenly included the land as part of the sale, he added.

Ty Samnang, the provincial court judge who issued the order, said he had received Chung Kwan’s complaint and was looking into the case.

While the sale was expected to yield close to $3 million, the National Union Alliance Chamber’s Kandal representative, Noy Rotha, said the exclusion of the land would bring down this estimate.

Separately, 100 workers from the capital’s Chung Fai Knitwear factory – whose owner fled in June – blocked National Road 2 yesterday, unhappy that the sale of the factory’s assets would not be enough to pay all the workers.

“The factory’s property, such as the machinery, will probably get $200,000, but the company owes workers and office staff more than $500,000,” said factory worker Chhoun Kiri.

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