Free Trade Union president Chea Mony yesterday rejected a charge in court that he and two other FTU members incited workers to damage property during a mass strike last year at the M&V garment factory.
During nearly two hours of questioning at the Kampong Chhnang provincial court, the trio argued the charges that they incited some 3,000 workers to cause US$850,000 of damages in interruptions to garment manufacturer M&V’s production chain were trumped up.
Afterward, Chea Mony said workers themselves had decided to strike to seek direct negotiations with the company, which had broken the law by providing inadequate working conditions, which caused a mass fainting incident inside the factory.
“I did not incite the workers to strike, because the workers protested while I was negotiating with the company at the labour department,” he said.
“The workers started to strike when they knew that they had not got a result for their demands, and they did it without letting me know in advance.”
The charges stem from a complaint filed by M&V.
FTU president Khem Chamnan and adviser Mann Seng Hak also denied the charges, with the later labelling the accusation “counterfeit”.
The Kampong Chhnang provincial deputy prosecutor said he would send the case to a judge to investigate the accusation.
In October, 3,000 workers went on strike at M&V’s factory 4 in Kampong Chhnang province demanding improvement to working conditions.
The strike at the factory, which supplies global brand H&M, followed to two mass-fainting incidents in August.