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Factory workers hold out for more

120720_06
Garment workers from the Hai Yon factory strike in Phnom Penh yesterday. Workers from four factories protested to demand better working conditions and the reinstatement of sacked union officials. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

Little more than a week after garment workers were granted a US$10 monthly increase in allowances and bonuses, thousands of workers at a number of factories joined strikes with a clear message yesterday: they need more.

Workers rallied outside factory gates and some marched to the Ministry of Social Affairs in a bid for more bonuses and the reinstatement of sacked union representatives.

Sieng Yot, a Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union official at Hai Yon factory in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district, said more than 100 workers from that factory had voiced their demands in the city centre.

“The workers demanded five points, including that [management] allow three union officials and six workers who were sacked in May to go back to work, and that they pay workers $15 for transportation and accommodation,” he said.

In Dangkor district, C.CAWDU official Ney Buntoeun said about 1,000 workers at the Golden Gain Shoe company striked for a second day.

“The workers decided to strike after the company forced them into overtime,” he said.

Their demands include three meals per day, $20 per month for mothers with babies, and other bonuses, he said.

More than 100 workers at Master & Frank (Cambodia) in Kandal province’s Ang Snuol district were striking in front of the factory yesterday, also demanding the reinstatement of a C.CAWDU union leader.

In the same district, about 1,000 workers from the Sun Best Garment factory in Kandal entered their third day of strikes for increased transportation and accommodation bonuses.

Sath Samuth, secretary of state at the Ministry of Labour, said the Labour Advisory Committee had already secured accommodation and increased attendance bonuses for workers, effective from September 1.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at kunthear.mom@phnompenhpost.com

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