More than 200 workers at a footwear factory in Kampong Speu province held a strike outside the factory for a second day yesterday to demand the company reinstate three union representatives, who they claim were fired earlier this month with no justification.
Uk Kheng, a Free Trade Union representative at the Shimano Footwear factory in Samrong Tong district, said that the company had dismissed Long Pov, 32, Khit Sophorn, 22, and Hak Bunthoeun, 27 on August 8 and paid them seniority bonuses of US$500 each.
He claimed that factory representatives had said that workers thumbprinted a document requesting that the three men be fired. Workers had in fact, he said, submitted a request for the factory to allow new mothers to leave work early in order to breastfeed and to provide workers with a $25 bonus every six months. He added that workers had burned tyres in protest.
Worker Long Pov said yesterday that he had been fired for no reason and a complaint filed by factory employees to provincial labour authorities had failed to resolve the dispute.
“The workers had no choice but to strike because they filed a complaint according to the law, but the factory employer has ignored it,” he said.
However, factory representatives said yesterday that the three men had reached the end of their long-term contracts.
“[The factory] has given them compensation according to the law,” factory administration chief Touch Manin said.
Choek Borin, director of the labour office at the provincial labour department, confirmed that factory representatives had not attended a meeting set to negotiate a resolution to the dispute and the case had been sent to the Arbitration Council.