Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mfone workers paid, a little

Mfone workers paid, a little

Former employees of the failed company Mfone protest in front of the Ministry of Social Affairs in Phnom Penh in April.
Former employees of the failed company Mfone protest in front of the Ministry of Social Affairs in April. HENG CHIVOAN

Mfone workers paid, a little

After months of protests, more than 1,000 former Mfone employees yesterday received just 10 per cent of the $4.4 million they were demanding in compensation after the telecom company filed for bankruptcy in January.

Employees, naturally, remain unsatisfied, wanting to be paid in full.

Court-appointed administrator Ouk Ry, entrusted with the sale of Mfone’s assets, said he sold enough items to date to pay former employees $440,000.

“The other 90 per cent, we will provide to them when we sell [the rest of] our assets,” he said, adding that he had not yet paid other creditors claiming dues.

Former Mfone staff in Phnom Penh received compensation first, while employees in the provinces would receive their 10 per cent in the next three days.

“The most important thing to sell is the huge assets, that is the company’s towers, then we will provide enough money for them,” he said.

Yesterday’s decision follows protests earlier this year by hundreds of former Mfone employees in front of the company’s former headquarters on Monivong Boulevard. In April, they took their protest to the Thai and Singapore embassies to apply pressure on the Mfone’s holding company, Shenington Investments, and the parent company, Thaicom.

“As I know, [Ouk Ry] sold only generators and batteries; next time they will sell wire or towers,” engineering manager Bang Vuthy, one of the employees' representatives, said.

Meas Rabith from Phnom Penh, who worked at the company’s call centre, said he had served Mfone for nearly three years. He said he received $280 in the latest deal, a fraction of the nearly $3,000 he claims. He has been unemployed since the telecom went bankrupt.

Mfone is estimated to have accrued more than $160 million in debt before it went bankrupt. Creditors include Norwegian-owned electronics firm Eltek Valere and Chinese telecoms equipment provider Huawei Technologies.

Kouy Thunna, representative and lawyer for Eltek, a company that Mfone originally owed more than $2 million, said that with interest the figure was closer to $5 million. He added that Ry’s decision to make piecemeal payments yesterday was incorrect.

“For my idea, Ouk Ry should reserve all the money in one account in order to spend that money on all creditors,” he said. “I will meet with my client [Eltek] to discuss whether or not to file a lawsuit to court to confiscate the money and have it reserved in one account.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Final verdicts for Khmer Rouge leaders ‘vital’ for next generation

    Nearly a decade after the commencement of Case 002/02 against Khieu Samphan back in 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is now set to deliver its final verdict for the former Khmer Rouge head of state. The Supreme Court Chamber of the ECCC,

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a