Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Strike arrests, injuries

Strike arrests, injuries

Strike arrests, injuries

1 Sabrina gament factory

Clashes at the ongoing Sabrina Garment factory protest yesterday morning led to the arrest of eight union members and several injuries on all sides.

Demonstrations at the Kandal province Nike supplier turned violent for the second time in two weeks when protesters entered the factory and exchanged volleys of thrown objects with employees still at work, leading police and military police to intervene.

“Strikers confronted each other in the factory and used stones and sticks to damage factory property,” National Military Police spokesman Kheng Tito said, adding that nine police officers were seriously injured while intervening.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Garment workers push against the gates of the Sabrina Garment Manufacturing factory during their protest in Kampong Speu province yesterday. Photo by Reuters

“We arrested eight union members who incited workers to use violence. We have handed them over to police to work on this issue.”

According to Free Trade Union spokesman Pich Ponnareay, about a thousand police and military officials intervened at the factory, which employs more than 5,000 workers.

“I’m not aware yet how many workers were injured, because most them were sent to hospital, and the situation was very bad at the time,” he added.

According to Ponnareay, the clash began when workers demonstrating for better benefits and wages entered the factory to assist a worker who was beaten and detained there, and workers who had not joined the strike used sticks and fire extinguishers to repel them.

“I helped two female workers who fainted after workers inside the factory used fire extinguishers to spray them. Police also beat the workers,” said Leng Pros, one of the strikers.

Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia secretary-general Ken Loo, who said he witnessed the clashes, gave a different version of events.

The protesting workers “basically came in throwing the wooden poles, throwing wooden pellets and metal pieces at the windows and at people,” he said, adding that the projectiles had injured several people.

“Of course, the factory will prepare to launch legal proceedings against the outrage that has caused property damage to the factory, together with the government I’m sure,” he said. Strikers say their demonstrations will continue.

Factory administrative manager Hong Luy declined to comment.

Additional reporting by Cheang Sokha and Justine Drennan

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all