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Military might: Soldiers put end to Veng Sreng strike

Soldiers used force on Friday to end a strike at a garment factory on Veng Sreng Boulevard, where demands included a lunch bonus of 2,000 riel and an end to forced overtime, workers and union officials said yesterday.

Cheng Sophavy, an officer at the Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW), said that about 100 employees at Pemir Garment agreed to return to work today after military personnel threatened them at the factory gates on Friday.

“Paramilitary forces from Brigade 70 on Friday came to disperse workers protesting in front of the factory,” Sophavy said. “They did not settle with workers; they deployed paramilitary forces instead. They do so to discourage us and force us back to work.”

Worker representative Chan Saban, 21, said: “We protested without any brute force, so using soldiers to crack down is not right.”

Neither the factory nor the military brigade could be reached for comment.

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