Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bus strike, part deux



Bus strike, part deux

Sorya Transportation employees strike in front of a company garage in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district
Sorya Transportation employees strike in front of a company garage in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district yesterday. phA LINA

Bus strike, part deux

Striking Phnom Penh Sorya Transportation bus service workers demonstrated with fired employees outside a company garage in Russey Keo district yesterday and threatened to lead others off the job again if a deal on contracts can’t be brokered by the Ministry of Labour and company representatives.

A representative for the newly conceived bus union said that after multiple employees were fired in the lead-up to Khmer New Year, union reps agreed to send a letter on Tuesday asking the Ministry of Labour to intervene.

“If we do not get any results from the ministry or the company I will lead a bigger strike anytime this week,” said union leader Sambath Vorn, who claims 20 employees had been fired.

Beyond demanding the reinstatement of fired employees, the union, which was started by a breakaway group that refused to return to work after a previous strike this month, is calling for an array of changes, including a $60 monthly wage increase and a health bonus.

But according to general manager Chan Sophanna, the union is exaggerating the number of fired employees.

“We only fired five drivers, and more than 10 workers abandoned the work themselves because they didn’t want to work,” he said.

“Their demands exceed our ability to agree with them. What they are demanding will close our company doors because we can’t give that much of an increase,” he said.

More than 60 workers originally went on strike on April 3, mere days before the country’s transportation companies geared up for increased business over Khmer New Year, during which many people travel between provinces to visit family.

However, following negotiations, Sorya agreed to end a policy fining drivers $750 for transporting people or goods without a ticket, leading virtually all of the employees to return to work.

Holdouts, fired workers and those having second thoughts about going back started the most recent round of strikes right after Khmer New Year.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Preah Sihanouk hit with travel ban

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration has announced a temporary travel ban to and from the province, except for ambulances and trucks transporting goods. The announcement came after prime minister Hun Sen called on people in the province to travel only if necessary, and that people not

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • AstraZeneca jabs touch down in Phnom Penh airport

    The first shipment of 324,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/SII vaccine which was provided through the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility was delivered to Phnom Penh International Airport on March 2. The rest of the COVAX provided vaccines will arrive in Cambodia at a later date.