Negotiations to end the weeks-long strike at Tai Yang and Camwell factories in Kandal province again broke down yesterday, leaving workers threatening another mass march into the capital and bosses declaring all talks over.
Management and union representatives met with officials from the Ministry of Social Affairs in an attempt to resolve the crisis over seniority bonuses that has resulted in as many as 4,000 workers striking at the Ang Snuol factories since June 25.
Yang Sophorn, president of the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions, said the factory had failed to offer more than US$70 per year in seniority bonuses for workers, despite their original demands for $170.
“The meeting to find a resolution this morning failed,” she said. “If we get nothing [by Saturday], we will march to Prime Minister Hun Sen to again ask him to help.”
Workers claim Tai Yang changed its name in 2010 to avoid paying seniority bonuses.
Manager Wu Minghuor has denied this claim and yesterday said that negotiations were over.
“I will release an official announcement, which is our last one to the workers, for them to return to work by 4pm [today].”
Ken Loo, secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, said the workers’ demands are unreasonable.
“They have basically ignored the law,” he said.
Dave Welsh, country director of the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, said the allegations against the factory could not be ignored.
“You can’t avoid your obligations by selling or reincorporating,” he said.