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H&L Apparel workers to return

Striking employees at the capital’s H&L Apparel (Cambodia) factory will return to work tomorrow after the company agreed to their demands on Saturday, but views differ on whether three unionists who lost their jobs will be reinstated.

Sam Seng Van, the factory’s chief representative of the Cambodian Federation of Labour Unions, said he and two others, Va Kanha and Lin Kea, had been forced to resign last Monday for forming a union, an incident that prompted more than 100 workers to strike.

The factory, however, has now agreed to the workers’ demands, which includes giving the three their jobs back, Sam Seng Van said.

“The company accepted our demands and allowed us back to work, but they suggested [the workers] find new union representatives,” he said.

“I don’t know whether the workers will agree to remove me from my position as a union leader, but I will stand aside if that’s what the workers want,” he said.

More than 100 workers went on strike at the factory, in Por Sen Chey district, last Tuesday.

Din Sam Ath, president of CFLU, said the factory had agreed on Saturday to other demands the workers had made, including monthly transport and accommodation allowances, and would address them one by one.

“We got success after the workers went on strike for five days,” he said.

But an administrative official at H&L Apparel, who refused to give his name, had a different story of what was agreed to when it came to the three union representatives.

“We cannot accept their return to work because they did not respect our factory – they just always did whatever they wanted,” he said. “We did not say we would accept them back. They said this themselves.”

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

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