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Bankrupt garment factory promises to pay workers

Bankrupt garment factory promises to pay workers

A representative of Mirea Apparel Factory in the capital’s Meanchey district had promised that more than 500 “agitated” workers would receive a month’s worth of back pay tomorrow, a union official said yesterday.

Free Trade Union executive officer Um Lina said that factory representatives had also agreed to give each worker US$20 immediately for living expenses until pay day arrived.
Most of the 500 workers earned less than US$100 a month, she said.

A representative of the workers, Vanna Sokhim, said  they had requested the union’s assistance after receiving notice in a meeting on Saturday that the factory was bankrupt and that they would not receive their salaries for August.

“The factory owner said he did not have enough money to pay the workers’ salaries because the factory was bankrupt and he had lost all his money,” she said. “All the workers were agitated,” she added.

FTU official Um Lina said that if the company did not keep its promise to deliver wages by Thursday, a formal complaint would be filed.

“The union has yet to file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour because we are waiting until Thursday. If the company does not pay its workers by then, we will file a complaint to the ministry to take legal action,” Um Lina said.

Sum Pharen, deputy director of the Ministry of Labour’s dispute bureau, said the owner of the factory was in negotiations to sell it.

“As far as I know, he is negotiating with his partner to transfer the company and has instructed a Khmer company representative to settle with workers by promising to pay them their due wages on Thursday,” Sum Pharen said.

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