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Cassava pickers push Pheapimex for wages

A group of farmers working for Pheapimex gather at a house in Pursat province during a strike over unpaid wages. Photo supplied
A group of farmers working for Pheapimex gather at a house in Pursat province during a strike over unpaid wages. Photo supplied

Cassava pickers push Pheapimex for wages

Twenty-two cassava farm workers for Pheapimex Company in Pursat province are demanding back wages from the Cambodian conglomerate, claiming the company hasn’t paid them for more than three months.

Ny Bol, one of the workers, said the farmers were all from Kampong Chhnang province, but came to Pursat for seasonal working harvesting cassava.

The company promised to pay them $12 for every tonne of cassava they collected, he said, adding that they gathered 250 tonnes, which would amount to $3,000 for the workers to split. But the company has yet to pay them those wages, Bol said.

“We are so poor in our homeland, that’s why we moved here to work in Pursat province collecting cassava for Pheapimex,” another worker, Tok Pich, said. “We are now lacking the money to buy food and other things for our children.”

The workers said the company was giving them food, but it was not enough.

A Pheapimex representative, who declined to give his name, said he wasn’t aware of the specifics of the case. “Our staff will examine this case to find out what’s going on,” he said.

Adhoc coordinator Phuong Sothea said if the workers were not paid by next week, the rights group would file a complaint with provincial authorities.

“The company seems to be abusing their labour,” Sothea said.

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