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Workers will return to factory

120112_05

Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post

Garment factory workers protest outside Chea Ly (Cambodia) Co Ltd yesterday in Phnom Penh.

More than 400 workers who participated in a strike outside the Chea Ly garment factory in the capitol’s Dangkor district yesterday said they would return to work today after the factory agreed to comply with one of their demands.

Worker representative Um Sopheap said the workers had begun the strike to demand that the company remove a Chinese manager who allegedly cursed, shouted and fired workers that he did not personally like.

Workers also protested that a number of employees had up to US$100 withheld from their monthly paychecks.

“About 80 of the more than 400 striking workers demanded salary that the company did not give them for December. They lost between $7 and $100,” he said.

One of those workers, Horm Vutha, said that although the company promised to provide the withheld salary at a later date, he needed it immediately.

“We need all of our salary. We work for money to support our family, if they cut our salary, how can we live?”

Horm Vutha also said he and other workers were worried the company would not comply with Prime Minister Hun Sen’s November decree mandating a $5 pay raise for garment factory workers. Horm Vutha said he had heard nothing from the company about the impending pay raise, which was intended to begin this month.

The administrative director of the factory, known as Pheng, said the company had agreed to comply with the workers’ demands to remove the Chinese manager.

As for the other demands, the official said: “We will find a resolution…if they return to work.”

Um Sopheap confirmed that workers would indeed return to work today since the company had accepted one of their demands.

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