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Bavet workers see pay diminished after strikes

Garment workers gather on the road in front of a special economic zone in Bavet late last year during a protest. Photo supplied
Garment workers gather on the road in front of a special economic zone in Bavet late last year during a protest. Photo supplied

Bavet workers see pay diminished after strikes

Workers at factories affected by recent garment worker strikes in the Svay Rieng province town of Bavet were paid their salaries on Saturday, suffering wage cuts that have sparked concerns about renewed protests.

Factories lost millions of dollars due to disruptions caused by violent strikes over the minimum wage that rocked Bavet from December 16 to December 24.

According to Rex Lee, manager of the Manhattan Special Economic Zone, factories did not pay workers who did not work from December 16 to December 22, although either half or full pay was provided to those who showed up but were ordered out.

For the December 22 to 24 period, when local authorities ordered a total work stoppage, all workers were paid half-wages.

Lee said yesterday that employers and the government were “keeping watch” on the situation as workers go to work this morning following their day off yesterday.

Yean Mak, a worker at the Kaoway sports factory in the Manhattan SEZ, said her salary was cut “by around $20 to $30”.

“We will go protest if our [factory] representative does not protest to demand the money,” she said.

However, Has Bunthy, director of the provincial labour department, said salary issues were largely solved by compromises between workers and factories wary of further disruptions.

“After the workers got their payment, we did not see any action or protests.”

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