Strikers from Kandal province’s Tai Yang and Camwell factories, which supply Levi’s and Gap, will converge on the capital again today to keep pressing for seniority bonuses, Cambodian Confederation of Unions president Rong Chhun said.
The 150 workers who remain on strike – of about 4,000 who have stopped work at the factories since June 25 – will deliver a petition to the US Embassy in an attempt to appeal to the factories’ mostly American buyers, Chhun said.
The workers, who have been demanding seniority bonuses of US$170 per year, claim Tai Yang changed its name in 2010 to avoid paying such benefits, allegations management denies.
Chhun said the workers had intended to burn tyres in front of Tai Yang on Friday, but police officers had thwarted their efforts.
“We decided not to because we do not want to have any violence occur between the workers and police,” Chhun said.
The workers will be wary of a similar presence in Phnom Penh today, especially after Chhun’s nephew Rong Panha was bloodied in a clash with officers near a Tai Yang protest on July 11.
Chhun said he had told the Phnom Penh municipal authority that the workers will gather outside the embassy today and will continue to strike until their problem is solved.
Wu Minghuor, manager of Tai Yang Enterprises, which includes Tai Yang and Camwell, said on Thursday that negotiations with the workers were over.
Meanwhile, workers from two other factories on strike late last week will return to work today after their demands were met, while two others will continue demanding more bonuses.
Sath Samuth, secretary of state at the Ministry of Labour, said the workers had no right to claim more bonuses because the Labour Advisory Committee had already agreed to a nationwide $10 increase in wages for garment and footwear workers.
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