Workers from SL Garment Processing (Cambodia)’s SL1 and SL2 factories hold a strike yesterday in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district. Photograph: Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post
About 4,000 workers from two garment factories protested in Phnom Penh yesterday for better working conditions – but bosses told them their 7.5 hour working days and free meals meant they had it pretty good.
The workers from SL Garment Processing (Cambodia)’s SL1 and SL2 factories began striking yesterday morning with a list of demands that included the introduction of accommodation, transportation and attendance bonuses.
Workers’ representative Rith Sinoeun, 26, said in front of the factory yesterday that management had refused their demands and offered each employee $5 to return to work.
“No workers have agreed to this, because we need more benefits,” she said.
The administrative director at SL Garment Processing (Cambodia), who gave his name only as Yang, said the company had provided many benefits to workers already after negotiating with the Free Trade Union and the National Union Alliance Chamber of Cambodia.
“The workers in my factory work only seven-and-a-half hours per day and we allow them half an hour to have a meal that we provide for free,” he said.
Officials from the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union had lobbied the workers to strike again, he said.
C.CAWDU legal officer San Sophea, however, denied this claim, saying the workers had made their own decision to strike yesterday.
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