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Abandoned workers hold anniversary vigil

Abandoned workers hold anniversary vigil

AROUND 100 garment workers gathered in front of the PDC factory in Sen Sok district’s Teuk Thla commune on Thursday to mark the passing of one year since their employer skipped town and left them without compensation.

Samnang Sytan, 36, a workers’ representative from the factory, said although the factory closed on August 10, 2008, the group chose December 10 to highlight their plight.

“We don’t want to create insecurity in the capital, but because we are suffering so much we decided to celebrate this anniversary on Human Rights Day; it is a day for our rights, too,” she said.

The factory closed after the owner, a Chinese national, fled the Kingdom without warning his employees.

Workers said they are still in need of assistance, and that members are still angry. Worker Sok Dina, 29, said the gathering was intended to send a message to the government in the hope of receiving help.

Chea Mony, president of the Free Trade Union of the Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, said the message was “meant to show the government how difficult it has been for these workers. But the government still allows these companies to invest in the country even though some have cheated the workers”.

In November, a Chinese employer from a factory represented by the FTUWKC skipped town with workers’ back pay.

Government officials could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

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