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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Shoe worker walkout ongoing

Shoe worker walkout ongoing

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Workers at a shoe factory in the capital’s Dangkor district said they will continue to protest today following another round of stalled negotiations with their employers and the blockage of a national road by more than 1,000 of the workers yesterday.

Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post
Workers from the Sun Well Shoes Co Ltd factory protest in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district on Wednesday.

Yesterday morning, workers from the Sun Well Shoes factory blocked National Road 4 for half an hour, protesting for the second day in a row, before being dispersed by police.

Sam Vichet, representative of the Workers Union Federation at the factory, said yesterday that negotiations between representatives from the union, company, local authorities, the Garment Manufacturing Association of Cambodia and the Labour Ministry had failed.

“The company refused to fire the factory administrative manager and the workers have demanded that he be fired in order to end the protest,” he said.

The workers’ 21-point list of demands included a request for the dismissal of factory administrative manager Kha Kok Kheang, who the union accused of failing to provide overtime food and travel expenses, and of not allowing workers to take days off.

Worker Phak Sothea said that employees would stop protesting if the company fires Kha Kok Kheang.

Kha Kok Kheang told the Post that the workers had been pressured by the union.

“I have been working here for nine years, and there has never been any dispute, but the union officials provoked the workers to [demand the factory] fire me in order to make it easy for them to control the workers,” he said.

Va Yuvawathana, director of the labour dispute office at the Ministry of Labour, said that the two sides had not reached an agreement in the negotiations.

“I will send a report to the Arbitration Council in order to resolve this case,” he said.

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