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Garment strikers march on despite ban

About 300 workers continued protesting at the Master and Frank garment factory yesterday, rejecting a Kandal Provincial Court injunction ordering them back to work within 48 hours.

After the company promised to consider workers’ demands that it reinstate fired union members, workers cancelled their plans to protest at the court and Ministry of Interior but filed a complaint to the Ministry against district police whom allege beat protesters unconscious on Wednesday, said union representatives.

“The workers will keep protesting until they receive a response from the company’s director in Taiwan,” said Um Visal, a labour dispute resolution officer at the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union.

If the factory did not agree to reinstate the unionists in the next two days, the protesters would seek help from government officials, said worker representative and C.CAWDU member Saom Sokhim.
A factory officer who went only by Thy said he could not anticipate the company’s response.

“We are waiting to hear from our boss. We cannot decide by ourselves,” he said.

Ang Snuol district deputy police chief Heng Chenda denied the allegations his officers had beaten protesters.

“Please show us the evidence, and then we can take action through the law,” he said. “Our country has laws to protect the people, so why would we beat them?”

Meanwhile, workers at Phnom Penh’s Conpress Holdings factory provisionally returned to work yesterday after the company said it required three days to find whether it had been informed the workers were forming the union whose leaders it then fired, said Free Trade Union officer Ry Sithinet.

If the company did not respond by next week, the protest would continue, Sithinet said.

 

To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at kunthear.mom@phnompenhpost.com
 

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