Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bonuses ‘won’t end strikes’

Bonuses ‘won’t end strikes’

Bonuses ‘won’t end strikes’

120828_05a

Strikers take a break during a protest outside the Conpress Holdings (Cambodia) garment factory in Phnom Penh yesterday. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

Strikers take a break during a protest outside the Conpress Holdings (Cambodia) garment factory in Phnom Penh yesterday. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

A pay rise for the nation’s garment workers is imminent, but if recent strikes are anything to go by, the US$10 monthly increase from September 1 won’t be enough to stop them from walking off the job.

Central to the demands of strikers at four garment factories in Kampong Speu, Phnom Penh and Kandal provinces this week has been an increase in bonuses and allowances.

In all cases, those demands have exceeded next month’s approved wage increase and have led to unionists being sacked.

More than 500 workers at King First Industrial in Kandal province’s Ang Snuol district yesterday entered their third day of a strike triggered by the sacking of three unionists.

Their reinstatement is paramount, but so are the workers’ demands for better pay, Free Trade Union official Yann Roth Keopisey said.

“[Their] demands include a $10 transport or accommodation allowance, $15 per month for lunches [and] a $12 attendance bonus,” he said.

The Labour Advisory Council, which is part of the Ministry of Labour, agreed last month to a $7 transport or accommodation allowance for garment workers and a $3 increase to their attendance bonus, increasing the minimum wage for a full month of work from $73 to $83.

Sok Vong, one of the three sacked Free Trade Union workers, said employees had a right to have their demands voiced.

“They sacked us illegally,” he said.

An unnamed factory representative said management had offered transport allowances and attendance bonuses before the LAC’s announcement.

“The sacked unionists are inciting strikers in order to . . . get more members,” she said.

About 200 workers at the Calacam Investment factory in Kampong Speu were also on strike yesterday, demanding management reinstate three workers sacked after they lobbied for better pay.

Similar strikes, involving about 100 workers, at Conpress Holdings (Cambodia) factory in Phnom Penh and Cosmo Textile factory in Kandal province were also playing out.

Roth Keopisey said next month’s pay increase is unlikely to reduce such strikes.

“The amount ... approved is so small that it cannot help their living standards, because the cost of rent [also] increases.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at [email protected]
With assistance from Shane Worrell

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • EU timber deal in firing line

    A committee of more than 20 national and international organisations filed a petition to the EU on October 10 to prevent it from signing a timber trade agreement with Vietnam, noting that the deal would be disastrous to the Kingdom’s forests. The petition claims Vietnamese timber