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Food ban angers workers

Workers at the M&V International Manufacturing Ltd garment factory in Kampong Chhnang province said yesterday that the factory owners have prohibited them from bringing certain foods and beverages into the workplace, following a full day of negotiations over the policy.

Noun Samol, a worker representative, said the factory has dismissed workers’ requests to be allowed to bring certain foods and drinks to work.

“More than 5,000 workers in the factory are not happy with the company’s policy of prohibiting cakes, other food items, soft drinks or other coloured beverages into the factory,” she said yesterday.
“Factory security will seize all such items if workers attempt to bring them inside.”

Vang Srey Leak, 23, an employee of M&V, said earlier this week that company officials told her the policy was imposed to prevent damage or staining to factory’s products from certain foods or beverages.

“All the workers will hold the big protest in front of the factory if it does not come up with a result that we can accept,” said Vang Srey Leak.

Noun Samol said that she would send a letter of intervention to the Arbitration Council today in order to seek assistance in the dispute.

“I don’t know what the workers will do if the company insists on prohibiting certain foods from the workplace,” she said, adding that employees would continue working as normal until a resolution was reached by the Arbitration Council.

Yin Phearum, an M&V official, said Sunday that the company could not allow workers to bring food or other items that could compromise the factory’s products or workplace.

“We’ve had problems with insects destroying our clothes, so that’s why we have prohibited workers from bringing certain food items and sweet drinks into the workplace,” he said.

Yin Phearum said the company was not worried about a protest and that the policy would remain in place.

Officials at the Kampong Thom provincial department of labour and vocational training could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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