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Contractor sued following strike of 100 workers in Kampong Speu

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Around 100 construction workers go on strike on Tuesday, accusing Cheng Ching Real Estate Co Ltd of unfair dismissal and of owing more than $800,000 in unpaid wages. Photo supplied

Contractor sued following strike of 100 workers in Kampong Speu

The owner of the Borey Cheng Ching II construction site in Kampong Speu province is suing a Taiwanese contractor and his Cambodian wife for allegedly defaming his company following a strike last week.

Tai Shih Chieh, the CEO of the Borey Cheng Ching II residential estate, told The Post on Sunday that his lawyer filed a complaint with the provincial court on Friday.

Shih Chieh said Taiwanese construction contractor Hoo Yean Ly and his Cambodian wife Sok Channy led around 100 workers on strike on Tuesday, accusing the company of unfair dismissal and of owing more than $800,000 in unpaid wages.

“The company did not dismiss them and does not owe them pay. On the contrary, Hoo Yean Ly and Sok Channy owe the company money. They have also failed to fully fulfil their tasks as laid out in their contracts,” Shih Chieh said.

He said that in September 2017, before construction began, his parents Tai Chhang Or and Haung Kuoy Ee signed an agreement with Yean Ly for the construction of residential houses on the estate within 240 days.

Chhang Or and Kuoy Ee agreed to pay Yean Ly $2.6 million.

However, after 200 days, Yean Ly requested the company delay construction for three months, claiming there was a shortage of workers, which the company agreed to.

“Since the beginning of construction until the strike on Tuesday, Yean Ly has asked for a total of $1.8 million from the company while only around 50 per cent of construction had been completed,” Shih Chieh said.

He said two days before the strike, 16 workers had complained of having not been paid for three weeks and demanded the company cough up their wages.

Seeking to avoid a dispute, Shih Chieh said, he ordered the workers be paid and called on Yean Ly to come in and resolve the issue. He said Yean Ly did not appear and later led the workers on strike.

Yean Ly and Channy could not be reached by The Post for comment on Sunday.

However, Channy, who was representing the workers, told reporters during the strike on Tuesday that Shih Chieh had dismissed them without reason and refused to pay them.

She said he had also confiscated machinery and equipment. “Borey Cheng Ching II owes the workers nearly $800,000,” she said.

Khuth Sophal, the chief of Kampong Speu province’s Samrong Tong district police, on Sunday said there were now only around 40 people working on the project after Tuesday’s strike. He had not seen Yean Ly and Channy since, he said.

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