Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cintri workers in wage protest

Cintri workers in wage protest

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cintri workers protest on Thursday after negotiations over a $12 a month wage increase were delayed. Hong Menea

Cintri workers in wage protest

Some 500 workers of refuse collection firm Cintri took industrial action in front of a company facility in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district on Thursday after negotiations over a $12 a month wage increase and improved working conditions were delayed.

Touch Kosal, the head of the Cambodia Tourism Workers Union Federation, which has a union representative at the workplace, said workers started protesting on Wednesday evening after negotiations requested since November were delayed.

The company made an appointment for talks on Monday, but these were then postponed.

“The workers started protesting on Wednesday evening at around 3pm or 4 pm, and they did not work on Thursday."

“They demand a $12 a month increase for seniority pay and for when they do not use all their annual leave because some workers do not get to use it. However, after meeting with company representatives on Thursday, they proposed only an $8 increase.

“We want the company to resolve the issue and not to delay a solution anymore as protests could spread to other [facilities]. The workers stopped work on Wednesday evening and now we wait for a resolution. The workers have said that if the company does not resolve the issue, they will not work,” Kosal said.

Mi Phan, 41, a Cintri garbage truck driver for 14 years, said: “The company tells us it cannot increase pay by $12 a month. I have worked for Cintri for 14 years and I think the company does not think about [its workers].

“I work around 10 hours a day. The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training does not pay attention to our health and safety – we work without gloves!”

Mao Kol Marad at the Office of Waste Management and the Environment said the issue was being looked at for a resolution.

“We are solving this problem, and we cannot leave it much longer as the garbage is already very smelly,” he said.

Ministry spokesman Heng Sour said the labour conflict was being looked at. “We will find a solution for the workers,” he said.

A 39-year-old petrol vendor in the capital’s Por Sen Chey commune who asked to remain anonymous said Cintri workers did not regularly collect waste from his house.

“Sometimes they did not collect the rubbish for 10 days. Maybe it is because we are just a small family and private companies [or restaurants] pay extra for [collecting]."

“It is a good thing if the company can increase the workers’ pay because as far as I know, their salary is low. I also hope the rubbish collection will be better than before, but that depends on the company’s management,” he said.

Ok Soban, a Sen Sok district resident, also said his waste collection was not regular. “I do not know if it is due to a shortage of workers or not. But I support improvement in their standard of living,” she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hundreds of children in hospital with dengue

    A serious dengue fever epidemic is affecting Cambodia, with nearly 600 children hospitalised in the five Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals on Monday alone, a statement posted on the Kantha Bopha Foundation’s official Facebook page said on Wednesday. Because Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals provide

  • Sihanoukville building collapse death toll rises to 19

    Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said on Sunday that the government will act against those responsible for the collapse of a seven-storey building in Sihanoukville on Saturday, which resulted in 19 dead and 24 injured as of Sunday evening. Sar Kheng said three Chinese nationals and one

  • Gov’t to probe Chinese exports to US via Sihanoukville

    The government is investigating allegations that Chinese companies are using Chinese-owned special economic zones in Cambodia to export goods to the US and avoid tariffs, said Ministry of Commerce spokesman Seang Thay. The move comes after US embassy spokesman Arend Zwartjes said the US had

  • Banh: The Khmer Rouge worse than sanctions and pressure

    Minister of National Defence Tea Banh said on Thursday that having sanctions and external pressure placed on Cambodia was not worse than life under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. Tea Banh, who is also deputy prime minister, was speaking to military and ruling party officials