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Workers protest over imprisoned union representative

More than 300 workers from the Sang Vo garment factory gathered in front of Kampong Speu provincial court yesterday to demand the release of a union representative who was arrested after a scuffle with another employee.

Free Trade Union of Cambodian Workers representative, Sun Pisey, was arrested last Friday for allegedly scaring line leader, Soem Voleak, during an altercation.

Worker representative, Yan Rathkeo Pisey, claimed yesterday that the line leader had initiated the violence, spitting on Sun Pisey and slapping him after he started advocating the benefits of joining his union. Some Voleak could not be contacted yesterday.

“Workers met together in front of Kampong Speu provincial court after three witnesses defending Sun Pisey, who works for Sang Vo factory, were summoned by the Kampong Speu provincial court prosecutor for questioning and explanations in the case,” said Yan Rathkeo. None of the witnesses were available for comment.

Meng Sokha, chief of Sang Vo factory administration, said yesterday the matter was an individual dispute between the two employees, but added if workers did not return to their jobs by June 16 their positions would be terminated.

“The factory does not get involved in individual affairs. It is a person’s right to find a legal way to defend himself,” he said.  

Chea Mony, president of the Free Trade Union of Cambodian Workers, yesterday accused the Sang Vo factory of provoking the dispute, which he said had previously attempted to break up union activities.

Khut Sopheang, director of Kampong Speu provincial prosecutors, said that Sun Pisey was accused of causing scars and was being temporarily detained in prison.

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