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Four workers injured in scuffles with police

FOUR garment workers protesting the recent firing of three union leaders from the Tage shoe factory have been injured in a scuffle with police, a workers’ representative said Sunday.

“Some of our workers got injured on Friday when police tried to disperse us and stop us from protesting in front of the factory,” said Svay Phorn Sipha, one of the union leaders who was sacked.

He said he did not know, however, whether the altercation had involved district or commune police. Choam Chao district police officials could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

No one was seriously injured, and Svay Phorn Sipha vowed that the workers would continue their protest, which intensified last week when workers’ representatives were excluded from a meeting between the factory owner and a district official.

“The Arbitration Council has asked protesters to go back to work and say that they will find a settlement later, but nobody will agree to work because they want to get a result first,” he said.

The dispute was passed to the Arbitration Council late last week. Sok Lor, the director of the Arbitration Council Foundation, said Sunday that he had only just received it.

“Our committee will start to work on it on Monday, so we do not have a result yet.”

Around 900 workers from the factory, which is located in Phnom Penh’s Choam Chao district, began their protest on January 8 after news of the firings spread among workers.

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