More than 1,000 workers protested in front of the soon-to-be-closed Svay Rieng Cambodia Garment factory yesterday to demand better severance benefits, and nearly half of them then marched to the provincial hall to seek help from government officials, workers said yesterday.
Worker representative Pang Tra said that the workers began protesting last Tuesday, after the factory informed them it would close on January 1 because the company had been transferred to a new owner.
“The company is paying us our last wages and bonuses from December and a small amount when it informed us of the closure, but the workers also need severance wages and compensation,” he said.
“We have demanded $100 for each worker, but the company has agreed to only $40.”
“The workers will receive some benefits, but they need more benefits,” said Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, who attended the protest.
Several hours of negotiations between the factory, local officials and workers yesterday did not yield a resolution, he said, adding that negotiations will continue tomorrow.
Tra said the workers would protest until their demands were met.
“Between 100 and 200 workers will sleep in front of the factory every night to prevent the company from removing equipment from the factory,” he said.
He added that workers would face many hardships when the factory closed because they would not have income to support their families, and it would be difficult for them to find new jobs.
Lem Tai Meng, deputy general director of the Svay Rieng Cambodia Garment factory, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
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