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Pailin road builders complain of pay delay

NEARLY 100 construction workers involved in the building of National Road 57 in Pailin province have filed a complaint against the contractor, who they say has not paid money that is owed them in outstanding wages, a representative of the workers said Thursday.

“We filed a complaint to the provincial police on February 23 for them to arrest this contractor, who did not pay our salaries,” Vong Phat said. “But the contractor has run away, and we don’t know where he has gone.”

He added: “Our salary is paid two times a month, and we need the money to pay for food and rent. But the contractor told us to wait, and then he ran away.”

Vong Sam At, the contractor, denied having reneged on his wage commitment, saying: “I am not cheating workers. The reason I have no money to pay them is because the Chinese company did not pay me, so then I told them to wait.”

He declined to provide the name of the Chinese company.

He added that he had returned to Pailin and would be able to give the workers part of the money owed to them.

“Today, I am back in Pailin because I have some money to pay them, but I do not have enough to pay their full salary,” he said.

Chin Sopheareaksmey, the chief of the provincial penal police, said he planned to take the complaint to Battambang provincial court yesterday to request an arrest warrant, though he added that he did not know whether a warrant would be issued.

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