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Factory owners will negotiate

UNION representatives and executives from footwear manufacturer Huey Chuen will meet with labour ministry officials today to negotiate an end to a dispute that led to a protest by about 30 staff at the ministry on Friday.

Workers said they were protesting being shifted to a new factory about two kilometres from the one they work at now in the capital’s Dangkor district.

“We spent about four hours protesting in front of the labour ministry until they agreed to have a meeting with us and factory officials [today],” said Kuon Sena, a Huey Chuen factory employee.

She said about 50 of its more than 3,000 workers had been forced to move to a new branch about two kilometres from the one they work at now in Choam Chao commune, and that they were only given one day’s notice.

She also said the company was deducting dues from wages for a union the workers did not support, and that they had requested assistance from the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union. Mour Chhieng, a legal officer at the coalition, said it would represent workers at today’s negotiations.

Him Phalla, a manager at Huey Chuen, said workers were not being forced to shift to a new facility and that the company was confused about their demands.

“Does the company have to follow the workers’ orders or do the workers have to follow the company’s orders?” he said, adding that Huey Chuen had obtained a court order instructing workers who had protested on Friday to return to work.

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