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Factory protesters must return to work

MORE than 700 workers returned to work at the PY garment factory in Sihanoukville on Saturday following a court injunction ordering their return, although the union leader whose firing they were protesting has not been reinstated.

Yov Khemera, director of the provincial labour department, said the court released an injunction on Thursday, ordering the employees back to work within 48 hours.

“The union leader Mao Piseth and another worker who was fired can find a resolution with the arbitration council,” he said.

Worker Phem Yeoun, 29, said staff had returned to work because they were afraid of losing their jobs.

“The company said to workers that if we did not return to work within 48 hours then we have automatically abandoned our jobs,” she said.

Workers had been protesting outside the factory since November 4, demanding better working conditions and the re-instatement of Mao Piseth.

Mao Piseth said he had allowed the protesters to return to work on Saturday, adding that he would rather return to work than receive compensation for wrongful dismissal.

Company representative Huy said Mao Piseth and the other employee were barred from returning because they had allegedly attempted to fight the factory manager, and that they were fired legally.

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