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Strikers back at table

120525_04

Workers from SL Garment Processing (Cambodia)’s SL1 and SL2 factories protest yesterday in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

Workers from SL Garment Processing (Cambodia)’s SL1 and SL2 factories protest yesterday in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

Workers from SL Garment factories and union representatives held their second round of talks at the Ministry of Social Affairs yesterday as strikes at the Levi’s, Gap and H&M suppliers continued for the 12 day straight.

The first round of negotiations had broken down on Tuesday, and an Arbitration Council ruling that ordered protesters back to work failed to end the strikes.

Ek Sopheakdey, legal officer for the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), said workers lowered their demands from $10 to $8.50 for transport and living allowances, but held firm on their attendance bonus.

Legal complaints against union officials had to be withdrawn.

As workers awaited the outcome of their demands, expected today, Ek Sopheakdey warned that the management’s continued refusal would have wider implications.

“If the employers do not agree with us, they show that they want to make trouble within the garment industry,” he said.

Ea Chip Ieng, personnel manager at SL Garment Processing (Cambodia), said C.CAWDU was worsening workers’ conditions rather than helping them.

“If there is a union leader like Ath Thorn [president of C.CAWDU], Cambodian workers will have no work. My factory will consider moving to other countries like Myanmar,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chhay Channyda at channyda.chhay@phnompenhpost.com

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