Protesting working conditions, nearly 300 garment workers in Kampong Speu’s Chbar Mon town entered their tenth day of strikes yesterday as the Arbitration Council prepared paperwork to resolve the dispute.
Among the Chinese-owned Suoy Yat Garment Factory employees’ demands is sick leave, no forced overtime, $15 per month for food as well as the re-hiring of two union representatives who were allegedly fired for no reason.
Thirty-seven-year-old worker representative Phat Un, said the firing of those workers prompted the strike on November 20.
“The factory oppresses the workers. Suoy Yat Factory workers are suffering since they [the factory owners] do not obey the Cambodian laws”, she said.
Tat Sung, a provincial labour department official, said that authorities have attempted mediation twice already but that both times the employers didn’t show or refused to negotiate.
“Now the department prepares the documents for the Arbitration Council so that it can call both parties for reconciliation,” Sung said, adding that the documents should reach the council today.
Soy Chanthou, a Cambodian Freedom Worker’s Union official, urged authorities to find a speedy solution and inspect working conditions to verify alleged abuses and legal violations.
Factory representatives could not be reached for comment.
According to the workers, this is the fifth time in the two years the factory has been open that workers have gone on strike.