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Workers' protest in Phnom Penh pays off

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Workers protest outside the Horus Industrial Corp factory in Phnom Penh yesterday. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

Garment workers who claim their employer was docking their pay for wearing shoes on the job will return to work today after their two-day strike ended with some demands being met.

More than 300 workers from Horus Industrial Corp sports­wear factory in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district walked out Wednesday, after hundreds had resigned in the weeks before in search of better work, representative Heng Sok Kahna said.

“[The company is] very cruel to us . . . they cut our salary $1 to $2 per month if they see us eating food, talking on the phone, taking leave and wearing shoes into the working room,” she said yesterday.

“We cannot work until the company director accepts our demands and changes their rules to respect the labour law.”

Huy Sambath, president of the Federation Union for Cambodia Workers, said a workers’ representative, the union, company representatives and Ministry of Labour officials negotiated for about four hours before the company agreed to 22 demands.

“The other four points we will send to the Arbitration Council to resolve. These include providing 4,000 riel [$1] for a meal allowance if they work overtime, $15 per month for transportation and accommodation, a $15 attendance bonus and paying them US$70 as a net wage,” Huy Sambath said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at kunthear.mom@phnompenhpost.com

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