Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Deal scrapped; strike ends

Deal scrapped; strike ends

Cintri workers gather outside the company’s headquarters during a strike demanding higher wages and other concessions in Phnom Penh
Cintri workers gather outside the company’s headquarters during a strike demanding higher wages and other concessions in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district yesterday. Pha Lina

Deal scrapped; strike ends

Rubbish collectors went back to work in the capital yesterday after further concessions were made following the workers’ rejection of a deal struck on Tuesday evening between union representatives and waste disposal company Cintri.

Union representatives had said they had reached a deal with the firm, which has the only contract to remove the capital’s waste, following a meeting presided over by City Hall officials on Tuesday evening.

But when the agreement was presented to workers at the company’s vehicle yard yesterday morning, street cleaners rejected the proposed offer of a $15 wage increase from their current salary of $65 per month.

Truck drivers were offered an increase of $10 to $120 in Tuesday’s scrapped deal.

Heng Sophat, a workers’ representative and truck driver, said yesterday that union officials had accepted the deal without consulting the workers.

“We agreed with them in the meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, but this morning, the workers did not accept it when we told them and they demanded more,” he said. “We negotiated with the company again this morning and later they accepted [the new terms],” he said.

Ngoun Sypheng, a representative for Cintri, confirmed yesterday that union officials had agreed to the smaller wage rises on Tuesday.

“I do not understand why they changed their minds. The workers should trust their representatives to make the decision,” she said.

Under the new agreement, street cleaners will get paid $90 per month and truck drivers will receive $130, union representative Prak Sokha said yesterday, adding that other concessions included building a new health clinic for workers, not docking pay when they require new work clothes, and social security entitlements.

Khoung Sreng, Phnom Penh deputy governor, went to Cintri’s vehicle yard yesterday morning, where about 100 workers were picketing the firm and not allowing trucks to leave to collect the refuse piling up on the capital’s streets.

With a detachment of military police and district security guards in tow, he said that the city was prepared to take action against the strikers if they did not accept a compromise.

“I cannot tell you what action I will take, but we really need the trucks out now, because we cannot leave the rubbish in the city anymore,” he said. “If we leave the garbage like this any more, Phnom Penh will become a garbage city – that we cannot accept at all.”

Sreng, speaking to the striking workers, appealed for them to end the blockade and allow the trucks to leave.

“You can continue your protest as is your right, but I need the trucks to collect the garbage,” he said.

Cintri’s Sypheng and unionist Sokha estimated that, out of about 1,400 employees at the company, almost 1,200 had taken part in the strike.

Almost 60 trucks had begun to collect the backlog of rubbish by yesterday evening, while City Hall and Cintri gave striking workers the rest of the day off, adding that they would be expected to show up for work as usual today.

The pay rises, Sypheng added, will come into effect at the end of the month.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival draws to close

    Cambodia's 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival wrapped up successfully on November 28 after a four-day run, with the film “Voice of the Night” awarded top prize for 2022. Sum Sithen, the organiser of the short film festival, told The Post that the number of attendees to the