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Workers given a break by Labour Ministry

All workers will be given days off during the Pchum Ben festival later this month so that they can return to their hometowns and villages to register on voting lists or check to ensure their names are on the lists, a letter from Minister of Labour Vong Sauth released last Friday states.

The order demands all enterprises and institutions to give workers two to three days off during the festival that begins on September 26 so that electoral rolls can be checked and workers can enjoy the holiday.

Employers cannot reduce salaries or bonuses of employees for the days off, Vong Sauth said in his letter.

Workers from provinces close to Phnom Penh will be given two days off while those from more distant provinces such as Ratanakkiri, Modulkkiri, Stung Treng, Preah Vihear, Oddar Meanchey, Banteay Meanchey and Battambang will get three days off.

Chea Mony, president of the Free Trade Union, said unions had distributed about 30,000 copies of the letter to factories nationwide.

So far, 57,094 citizens from 1,543 communes had registered during an electoral enrolment process that runs from September 1 to October 15, the National Election Committee has said.

The NEC said in the middle of last month that 8,894,219 Cambodians were registered to vote: about 87 percent of all Cambodians over the age of18.

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