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Union, ministry meet

A UNION representative from the Tack Fat garment factory said that Monday’s meeting with officials from the Ministry of Social Affairs had concluded with a proposal to pay workers 50 percent of their monthly salary during the factory’s two-month suspension of production.

Union representative Kim Dech said that the next step for the union was putting the plan before the workers.

“We will talk with the workers [today] to tell them the result of the meeting. We will propose a three-day cooling-down period, after which we will start negotiations with the owner of the factory. During this time, the workers will postpone their demonstrations,” he said.

Kert Choeun, chairman of the ministry’s Committee for Dealing with Demonstrations and Strikes, said Monday that he would attempt to get the factory owner to compromise on the 50 percent salary proposal.

“We want the workers to remain patient during this period of negotiations”, Kert Choeun said.

More than 1,800 workers from the Tack Fat garment factory in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district began protests on Thursday when the factory closed its doors without telling them in advance.

Factory owners said that declining garment orders forced them to close for two months. Tack Fat owners initially proposed US$10 as monthly compensation for employees during the suspension in production, precipitating further negotiations.

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