In order to avoid Phnom Penh residents coming home to a “polluted” city after Khmer New Year, waste removal contractor Cintri is encouraging workers to volunteer over the national holiday, and plans on hiring temporary help to prevent any work stoppages.
“According to the Labour Law, the workers do not work during the Khmer New Year, which is coming up soon, but our company’s role is to collect garbage from the public sites to clean the city, so we need the workers to volunteer to work during this period,” Cintri operations manager Ngoun Sypheng said.
Workers who make the holiday sacrifice, as well as temporary workers who join up during the period, will receive “about $10 a day and be supported with food three times a day”, Sypheng said.
Ten dollars is more than double the typical daily salary of a Cintri truck driver.
“We do not want to see that our city becomes polluted by the garbage, and to clean the city, we will hire workers from other sectors,” he added.
Cintri employee Meth Vithika said that he wouldn’t be working as he had to attend his mother’s funeral ceremony in Prey Veng, but that “if I were not busy, I would volunteer to work, because I need some more money”.
Prak Sokha, who served as a Cintri worker representative during a recent wage strike that left huge piles of refuse deposited around the city, estimated that about 30 per cent of workers will volunteer for Khmer New Year duty.
“I have already decided to volunteer to work for two days, from April 13 to 14, but on April 15 I will take my family to visit my relatives in my mother’s native village in Prey Veng province,” he told the
However, Sokha warned that if the company did not pay workers both double their typical salary and a $10 daily bonus, he would seek to strike again.