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Wing Star workers walk out

Provincial Ministry of Labour officials will today meet with union representatives and management at the factory where a ceiling collapse killed two workers last May, in an attempt to resolve a strike.

About 5,000 employees at Wing Star Shoes, an Asics supplier, walked off the job on Friday, demanding 10 changes including an additional $10 per month for lunch and transportation, said Bin Srey Mom, a Free Trade Union representative at the factory in Kampong Speu.

“Factory management has not negotiated with us since we began striking,” Srey Mom said yesterday. “If the factory still refuses to find a resolution … we will block National Road 3", where Wing Star is located.

Wing Star employees receive $20 each month for meals and transportation – in addition to the minimum monthly wage of $100 – but demand $30.

The factory’s administrative manager, Mao Sisong, yesterday said officials will negotiate in good faith, but argued that employees already receive decent benefits.

“We will meet with the worker representatives and the provincial Labour Ministry officials, and try to resolve this strike,” Sisong said. “But I think the workers’ demands are unreasonable, considering the bonuses Wing Star provides.”

While employees demand higher wages, workers feel safe working there, despite the deadly collapse 10 months ago, employee Yu Manith said.

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