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Council drops case over Global Apparels strikes

A tyre burns outside Global Apparel garment factory last month during a protest by former employees demanding severance pay. Photo supplied
A tyre burns outside Global Apparel garment factory last month during a protest by former employees demanding severance pay. Photo supplied

Council drops case over Global Apparels strikes

The Arbitration Council this week terminated the case involving the ongoing dispute between workers and the Malaysian-owned Global Apparels Limited factory in Phnom Penh, citing employees’ refusal to stop striking while the case was in arbitration.

Soth Chet, an official with the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, said yesterday that he wasn’t surprised by the decision. “I’m really sorry for the workers,” he said. “No one cares for the workers’ interests.”

Some 600 workers were terminated earlier this month, and contracts for an additional 1,200 are set to expire in coming months, leading up to the factory’s closure in October.

According to a copy of the decision, workers were ordered to stop striking and go to work, but they did not.

A Global Apparels representative, who declined to be named, said the company doesn’t plan to go further. “If the workers’ contracts end, they will get paid based on their contracts.”

Joel Preston, a consultant at the labour rights group Central, said these kinds of decision were “common”, but workers could appeal.

“They need to make sure they are not on strike during the arbitration process,” he said.

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