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Factories ‘follow all’ Covid guidelines

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Garment workers in Chak Angre commune in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district on Wednesday. Heng Chivoan

Factories ‘follow all’ Covid guidelines

The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) said it has been disseminating Covid-19 prevention measures set by authorities to factories, enterprises and workers.

GMAC stressed that it has no authority to force factories to implement the measures, but has urged them to follow all Covid-19 guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training.

GMAC deputy secretary-general Kaing Monika told The Post on December 9 that workers have been wearing masks properly while working in factories.

The association had also translated the Khmer guidelines into English and Chinese so that factory employers could understand them.

“Our [member] factories have also stocked sufficient supply of masks for workers and followed other guidelines, such as checking the temperatures of employees and workers before entering factories.

“Besides, they have also monitored employees and workers to wash their hands with sanitiser,” he said.

Monika said auditors, authority personnel at all levels, inspection officers, and visitors have also been abiding by the guidelines while carrying out their work at factories.

He said employees who do not follow the guidelines are not allowed to enter the factories.

Cambodian Labour Confederation president Ath Thorn told The Post that GMAC should continue to cooperate with inspection teams sent by the relevant ministries to ensure all GMAC member factories implement the guidelines correctly.

“[Employers] should buy more masks, sanitiser and virus protection materials to fulfil the requirements set by the health ministry,” he said.

Thorn urged factory owners to build more bathrooms and dining facilities to stick to social distancing measures.

He also called on the labour ministry to issue a guideline for drivers who transport factory workers to reduce the maximum number of passengers from 30 to 20.

“Given this circumstance, the impoverished workers have [no choice but] to buy masks [for personal use]. I think that companies should help workers cover half of the monthly cost they spend on buying masks.

“Should there be a confirmed transmission case, not only workers are affected, but the companies will also feel the impact,” he said.

On December 8, GMAC and its members provided 240,000 masks to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport so that the supply can be distributed to students for use during the national Grade 12 examination in January 2021.

This is the second donation after it delivered 40,000 masks to the ministry two months ago.

Education ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said on December 9 that the ministry is arranging for the masks to be distributed to units under its jurisdiction.

He also welcomed the effort from all parties to control, prevent and stop the Covid-19 transmissions.

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