Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Workers at Koh Pich demand better wages

Workers at Koh Pich demand better wages

Workers at Koh Pich demand better wages

110215_4
Workers protest over a number of grievances including the non-payment of overtime wages yesterday on Koh Pich.

About 1,000 employees of the Overseas Cambodian Investment Cooperation protested yesterday against working conditions at development projects on Diamond Island.
Noul Yeun, an employee of OCIC, said a group consisting of gardeners, cleaners and construction workers stopped working Sunday to protest for improved conditions.

“We have been working here for more than two years and can no longer bear the restrictions on our lives. We work overtime until 11pm but only receive a daily wage of 10,000 riel (US$2.50). But if an employee is five minutes late he cannot work a full day and loses his wages.”

Fellow protester Leum Hout, 45, said that the company provides poor living conditions and that the construction site once had a small food market, yet the workers now have to pay for transport to shop for food.

On top of this, he claims security guards attempt to steal food from workers at gunpoint and that it is impossible to live on a daily wage of 10,000 riels.

Oen Kim Hun, a conflict resolution official from the Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia, attended the protest and said the workers made 20 complaints related to both work and living conditions and have asked BWTUC to mediate.

“According to labour law, employees can only work two additional hours for twice the regular rate. The company’s security guards must not carry guns and threaten people. Workers reported to us on January 13 that 20 security guards confronted them, threatening to take their food,” he said.

“The union will negotiate with the company to find a resolution.”

He added that the company provides employees with unhygienic drinking water from the river and charges a weekly fee of 500 riels for medicine.

Touch Samnang, Koh Pich project manager for OCIC, said yesterday that “the company does not force employees to work extra hours”.

“Some workers want to get extra money, so they work more,” he said.

“We believe several workers have persuaded a group to protest for higher wages. The accusations against the security guards are not true and the company has rules that people cannot stockpile food in the workers’ houses.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all