About 2,000 garment workers at Winmag Shoe Manufacturing protested and blocked National Road 3 in Takeo province’s Tram Kak district last week after the factory allegedly dismissed nearly 50 workers without notice or compensation.
Most of the 50 had been let go over the course of some months, but the termination of 20 workers on Thursday prompted workers to protest both Friday and Sunday, saying the company did not give them the notice period required by the Labour Law – 30 to 45 days notice for workers’ with tenures between two to four years.
“The factory did not abide by the law, because they thought our workers are not clever. They called them in to give thumbprints [for documents] that ended their work,” said Sao Chan Thoeun, a factory representative with the Free Trade Union.
Chan Thouen said the factory asked to negotiate, but in the meeting only wanted her to sign a letter saying she would rein in the protesters without addressing the issue of fired employees.
Tram Kak police chief Duk Thiya, who attended the meeting, said the factory claimed that the workers’ contracts had expired and weren’t being renewed.