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Hundreds strike at K Speu garment factory

Hundreds strike at K Speu garment factory

Workers at A & J Carter (Cambodia) Limited in Kampong Speu province’s Samrong Tong district protested outside the factory yesterday, continuing a strike that began five days ago.

Some 500 employees walked off the job on Thursday after management terminated the contracts of three Free Trade Union (FTU) officials, said Sok Chan, one of the union officers who was sacked in early June.

“I worked [at A & J] for one year and one month. I was always getting bonuses for being a hard worker,” Chan said yesterday. “But they used the pretext that my work was not up to standard in order to sack me.”

In addition to the demand that Chan and the two other FTU organisers be reinstated, workers are demanding $15 per month for lunch and management’s agreement not to force employees to work overtime.

The provincial government has tried to step in to end the dispute, said Tat Song of Kampong Speu’s Labour Department. However, factory and union officials refused to meet for negotiations on Friday.

“Both sides held firm with their demands. Unionists want their representatives reinstated, but the factory refused,” Song said yesterday. “According to the factory, the sacked workers’ creation of a union is not an issue, but they have not been productive, and only provoked workers to support them.”

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