Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fainting factory hit with ‘illegal’ strike

Fainting factory hit with ‘illegal’ strike

Fainting factory hit with ‘illegal’ strike

Chea Mony speaks at a protest near the M&V garment factory in Kampong Chhnang province yesterday afternoon.

Workers at M&V International Manufacturing’s garment factory in Kampong Chhnang province went on strike yesterday afternoon after talks between management and the Free Trade Union workers broke down.

FTU secretary-general Man Seng Hak said yesterday “the strike would continue until all demands are met and workers will set tyres aflame [today]”. The demands include the reinstatement of 20 employees allegedly fired last month for attempting to establish a branch of the union at the factory.

The FTU has said that workers at the factory began joining its union after two mass fainting incidents at the factory in August. The incidents prompted investigations by the labour ministry, the International Labour Organisation and global brand H&M, which buys apparel from the factory.

A spokesman for H&M told the Post yesterday that the company was “in contact with the FTU and M&V management”. He also said it was “finalising the results from [its] investigation” into August’s mass faintings.

FTU president Chea Mony said that 20 staff had been dismissed for trying to join his union last month.

M&V, however, has said the workers were on short-term contracts that had expired. Soum Sinath agreed, saying “the termination of the contracts between the company and workers was legal, and the factory had no work for them so it ended their contracts”.

He also described yesterday’s strike as illegal. “According to the law, if both sides fail to reach an agreement, they forward their dispute to the Arbitration Council and if the company does not follow the order of the Arbitration Council they have the right to strike,” he said.

FTU’s president at the M&V facility, Tem Silak, said she was among the 20 workers allegedly fired for attempting to establish the union at the factory. She said M&V had dismissed 290 workers in September. “We asked the company to allow them to return to work when work is available, but the company rejected this,” Tem Silak said.

The FTU said 3,000 of the factory’s 4,000 employees joined yesterday’s strike, while Soum Sinath put the number at 1,000.

M&V management declined to comment.


  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all