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Unions push garment factories to pay the deceased

The Cambodian Confederation of Unions sent a letter to the Garment Manufacturing Association of Cambodia on Wednesday to help ensure that the families of the workers who were killed in Diamond Island stampede would be compensated for outstanding wages.

“We are worried about the factory owners not giving the last wages to the workers who died, and the CCU will keep watching and pay attention to these cases,” said Union President Rong Chhun.

Cheat Khemara, a senior officer at GMAC, said his association has reminded factories to pay the remaining wages, though he said that factories have their own policies for dealing with such situations.

“We know by ourselves how to help the workers, and don’t need unions to alert us about this case,” said Cheat Khemara. “All the factories will keep the wages for the workers who died in the catastrophe, and they will take their wages to their homes, or the family members can collect the wages at the factories.”

Cheat Khemara said that 26 deceased, 60 injured, and 2 missing workers had been reported to GMAC as of Wednesday.

Various unions and businesses across the Kingdom have said that compensation has started to roll out to the victims’ families.

Chhun Sina, a representative of the United Apparel Cambodia factory, said one of the company’s workers had died, and that 2 million riel (about US$490) was given to the victim’s family two days ago.

“Our company knew by ourselves to give the worker’s wages to the family, so we don’t need the unionists to tell us,” she said.

Meanwhile, unions across Cambodia are continuing to tally the number of workers lost on Monday night.

The Cambodian Confederation of Trade Union said 20 members died, 32 were injured and another 15 workers were missing. The Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union said that 35 members had died Monday, and 33 were injured.

Othsman Hassan, secretary of state of the Labour Ministry, said yesterday the number of deceased union workers was unknown.

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