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Strike grows as another factory walks

About 1,000 workers at one of Asia’s largest garment-processing factories have joined more than 4,000 who began a strike last week, as union workers demanded the company meet nine conditions, including severing ties with a shareholder.

Employees at the SL2 factory of SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd walked off the job yesterday, said Suth Seam, a representative of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), which represents thousands of workers at the SL and SL2 factories. SL workers started striking a week before.

“We demanded a $150 minimum wage, $3 for meals, and for the company to … fire the shareholder Meas Sotha,” Seam said.

C.CAWDU members who work at SL have alleged that Sotha’s decision to bring military police to stand guard inside the factory three weeks ago was an effort to intimidate union workers.

Sotha and Chhin Sao, administrative manager for SL2, both said union workers were forcing workers to strike and that the continuing walkout was illegal.

“They protested without sending a letter to inform to us in advance,” Sao said. “It is an illegal strike.”

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