More than 100 workers from Cambo Handsome One garment factory gathered outside the home of Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday and Saturday, after urging him on Thursday to intervene in a dispute with the factory’s Korean owners.
The move followed an appeal to the Ministry of Social Affairs last Thursday for assistance in resolving the dispute over the suspension of three union leaders. The workers added three new demands last week: a ban on forced overtime, more flexibility in allowing staff to take leave, and providing facilities that would allow new mothers to work part time.
Din Samath, president of the Cambodia Labour Unions Federation, said “the workers tried to bring the complaint to the ministry to intervene on behalf of the suspended unionists after the court ordered them to end their strike and return to the factory last week”.
Union officials said the ministry declined to accept their complaint, so they delivered it to the prime minister.
Kong Chamroeun, an official in Hun Sen’s Cabinet, accepted the complaint on Thursday and later suggested that the workers add supporting documents. Federation of Workers Friendship Union president Sieng Sambath said more documents were provided on Friday.
The workers protest began on November 26 after a union leader was charged with stealing two Gap T-shirts the day before. Executives at the factory’s parent company, Hansoll Textile, have insisted that the factory complies with the Labour Law. They also told the Post that they considered the ramifications of pressing charges against a union leader very seriously before they did so.