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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Workers seek factory reforms

Workers seek factory reforms

PROTESTS against poor conditions in garment factories flared up on Wednesday as workers from two sites refused to work because of ongoing disputes.

More than 300 workers from the Sky High garment factory in Dangkor district took their protest, which started on August 24, to the National Assembly.

Chan Dary, one of the workers' representatives, said a letter had been sent to National Assembly President Heng Samrin asking for help.
"We continue the protest so factory owners will agree with our conditions and allow workers to return to work as normal," he said.

Grievances at Sky High include a 1,000-riel reduction in monthly wages, a lack of help for those who lose vehicles on company property and unpredictable work stoppages. If the Assembly refused to help, Chan Dary said, the workers would take legal action.

Chea Mony, president of the Free Trade Union of Cambodian Workers, urged the government to intervene. "I hope the National Assembly will receive their complaint and call the minister of labour to talk about this problem," he said.

Meanwhile, 800 workers from Whitex garment factory also took action. Mai Vathana, coordinator for the Khmer Youth Federation of Trade Unions, said workers wanted the factory owner to agree to 10 conditions such as reimbursing travel expenses for those with cars, two extra days off during the festival of Pchum Ben and two cans of milk for workers' children.

"We are helping them, but we have not had any luck yet," he said. Neither of the factories' owners could be reached for comment on Wednesday.



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