Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Better transport sought for workers



Better transport sought for workers

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The government and civil society organisations are finding ways to improve the means of transport for garment and footwear workers to reduce accidents. Heng Chivoan

Better transport sought for workers

The government and civil society organisations are finding ways to improve the means of transport for garment and footwear workers to reduce accidents involving them while commuting to and from work.

During a workshop held under the theme “Improving commuting safety for garment and footwear workers” on Monday, officials said road accidents caused by improper means of transport had increased considerably.

Im Piseth, the Project Manager of AIP Foundation, said the institution had been working to improve road safety for workers.

He said AIP Foundation is working with the Road Safety Committee for Workers to push worker transporters to use passenger vehicles instead of commercial trucks.

“Drivers have been urged to use buses or passenger vans to transport workers to ensure better safety for them,” he said.

Pen Noreak Vuth, the deputy director of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) under the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, said road accidents had been a cause of concern for the government.

He said traffic accidents were hidden killers and a burden on the national economy.

“The government encouraged all institutions to work together to change their habits and use proper commuting vehicles. Specialist working groups are also working to publicise the law and further educate the drivers,” he said.

Eliot Tang, the general manager of Carlington Factory in Kampong Cham province, said over the years, drivers at his factory had undergone training on safe driving and workers’ safety. He said they had exercised greater caution when parking, driving and modifying their trucks.

The drivers, he said, had been using buses that are up to standard to transport workers and had also been educated about the law and ethics by specialists from AIP Foundation.

“Before we didn’t have this standard, but now we have made a lot of changes to improve traffic safety for our workers,” Tang said.

Association of Transportation Workers and Informal Employment president Neak Heng said while owners of vehicles for workers are required to use buses, most of them could not afford to do so.

He said they generally charged only between $5 and $15 a month from workers and thus needed more time to save money to buy new vehicles.

“The ongoing challenges for worker truck drivers multiply. They can’t afford to buy new ones immediately. They can only do it in phases unless the government helps by offering them loans at low interest.

“In some cases, buses cannot be used to transport workers because roads in the countryside are pretty narrow and can get them stuck in the mud. As they get too little money from each worker, their only option is to put many workers in one modified truck.

“The fees they get from workers are not even enough for petrol, engine oil and food,” he said.

Luy Chhin, the deputy director of traffic police and public order under the National Police, said the use of modified trucks to transport workers is illegal. He said such modified trucks had not undergone technical inspection.

“Drivers are required to use their own vehicles to transport workers if they can afford them. Otherwise, they must put enough seats for workers in their vehicles. That can help prevent traffic accidents,” he said.

According to an NSSF report released in July, there were 766 cases of traffic accidents in the first six months of this year, killing 24 people and severely injuring 159.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and