Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Abandoned’ workers seek factory’s sale



‘Abandoned’ workers seek factory’s sale

‘Abandoned’ workers seek factory’s sale

After the sudden, unannounced disappearance of their factory’s owner last Friday, more than 400 garment workers at DF Fashion Apparel (Cambodia) in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district gathered at the factory yesterday, demanding back wages.

The disappearance of the Israeli national who owns DF Fashion – known to employees only as “Mr Mer” – left about 540 workers unemployed and demanding the government gut their former workplace to pay them each between $500 and $600.

“We want the Ministry of Labour to create a committee charged with selling equipment in the factory so that we can use the money to pay workers’ wages and benefits,” said Fa Saly, president of the National Trade Union Confederation (NTUC).

“We wish to give the workers what they are owed without involving the courts.”

On Samol, DF Fashion’s administrative manager, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Saly sent a letter to the Labour Ministry, asking them to intervene immediately, and ministry officials made a trip to the factory to see protesting workers, Saly said.

Such abandonment of factories – especially in Cambodia’s garment sector – has been a problem for years, the result of a legal system in the Kingdom that does not hold foreign businesspeople accountable for their investments, according to Saly.

However, Vong Sovann, deputy secretary-general of the Labour Ministry’s Committee for the Settlement of Strikes and Demonstrations, yesterday said that ministry officials are looking for the factory’s owner to work out a solution. If they cannot find the employer, Sovann said, his committee will sell the factory and machinery inside for scraps, and use the proceeds to pay workers the money they are owed.

“We had a meeting with the workers’ representative and the union, and they demanded we find a resolution in which they are paid wages and benefits,” Sovann said yesterday. “The workers do not want to sue the employer in court; they want their money. I will try my best to solve this problem as soon as possible, because they want to find new jobs.”

Worker Khiev Chakrya, 27, yesterday said the demand to sell the factory is not out of vindictive sentiment but necessity.

“We do not have money, so we have to sell the equipment and the factory,” Chakrya said.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four

  • 8 provinces on Thai borders put in lockdown amid Delta fears

    The government has decided to place several border provinces in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to prevent the new coronavirus Delta variant spreading further into community. According a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28, the provinces include Koh Kong,