Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Family of garment worker who died on the job waits for NSSF

Family of garment worker who died on the job waits for NSSF

Family members mourn the death of Khat Samerl, 43, a garment factory worker who died on the job last month in Phnom Penh. Facebook
Family members mourn the death of Khat Samerl, 43, a garment factory worker who died on the job last month in Phnom Penh. Facebook

Family of garment worker who died on the job waits for NSSF

Almost two weeks have passed since the death of a garment worker at the Taiwanese-owned Accasette Garment factory – a supplier of Dutch chain C&A – in Phnom Penh, but the National Social Security Fund has not offered her family compensation for her death, according to the victim’s husband.

The employee, Khat Samerl, 43, died on May 31 from what the Labour Ministry concluded was a case of cardiac arrest. News of her death allegedly caused more than 20 other workers to faint at the factory.

However, Samerl’s husband, Kong Logn, 47, said yesterday that neither authorities nor representatives from the company have informed him about why his wife, whom he claimed had no pre-existing illnesses, had passed away so suddenly. Logn, who heard about his late wife’s cause of death from other villagers who saw the news on television, added that the NSSF has not contacted him about the compensation.

According to the Labour Law, the NSSF is obliged to give a $1,000 payout as funeral allowance in the case of work injuries leading to death.

“I met with the NSSF when they came to the funeral. They asked me if my wife had any pre-existing conditions, such as high blood pressure or any kind of diseases, and I confirmed that [she] did not have these sicknesses at all,” Logn said.

The victim’s father, Oum Phorn, said that the NSSF has not contacted him about the compensation either.

Kong Logn holds a framed photograph of his late wife, Khat Samoel, yesterday in Kandal province.
Kong Logn holds a framed photograph of his late wife, Khat Samerl, yesterday in Kandal province. Pha Lina

When contacted yesterday, the company’s human resources supervisor Chen Ying Shen said that a total of $1,200 had been given to the victim’s family for funeral expenses.

“The company gave $500, the office staff donated $361, and the workers donated around $400,” he said.He added that the factory will help the victim’s family fight for the NSSF’s $1,000 payout.

Despite this, Logn expressed anger toward the company, which he said was “looking down on the lives of garment workers and his wife”.

“I think that the factory feels that a worker’s life is so cheap. They did not provide treatment properly and did not take any responsibility,” he said.

“When the general manager came during the funeral, I asked them why they didn’t have any nurses and oxygen equipments to help my wife before she became unconscious. I got so angry when the manager responded that the Ministry of Labour’s regulations do not require them to send nurses to go with the workers when they get sick or have an accident.”

Chen, who said the factory “did the best they could at that time”, said that nurses at the factory’s clinic performed an “emergency rescue” on the victim.

Yin Chantha, 41, a relative and co-worker of the victim, however, said that the factory was “careless” in handling the issue. “The factory did not send a nurse to go together with us [to take the victim to a hospital],” she said, adding that she and three other staff who accompanied the victim did not have any medical expertise.

An NSSF spokesperson could not be reached for comment yesterday.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • 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