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Siem Reap security guards demand late salaries

AROUND 20 staff working for a security company in Siem Reap province have threatened to stage a protest over a wage dispute, employees said Monday.

Long Seng Leang, a 26-year-old guard working for Master Professional Security (MPS), said the company’s owner had given no explanation for the late payment of US$80-per-month salaries, which he said were six weeks overdue.

“Some of us are very disappointed and do not want to continue our work. Some do not have money to buy rice and to pay the rent,” he said. “We all depend on this low salary to support our families. If they do not pay us like this, what can we depend on?”

He added that the company owner had avoided workers’ questions and threatened to fire anyone who continued to demand their salaries.

MPS chairman Kan Sokim said the timely payment of workers’ salaries had been prevented by cash flow problems, but that all staffers would be paid in full by Tuesday.

“Many customers have not paid the company yet during the Khmer New Year festival; the staff did not know this,” he said. “The company has lent them $10 to $15 each and will pay the remainder later.”

Tep Kimvannary, president of the Cambodia Federation of Independent Trade Unions, said workers should not hold demonstrations when wages are overdue because they could lose their jobs or affect investment in Cambodia.

“They should choose a peaceful way to solve the problem by reporting the company to the local authorities,” she said.

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