The Arbitration Council issued a letter ordering a garment factory in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district to reinstate jobs to more than 1,000 garment workers on Friday, after the factory suspended its production in December last year.
The meeting was called in response to a December 11 complaint filed by worker representatives, who had become concerned that PCCS Garments Ltd might be closed down after orders began drying up, production at the factory became irregular and equipment was shipped out.
The letter stated that after two separate meetings at the Arbitration Council in January and February, they reached a conclusion that the company must provide employment for its workers within the next two months or provide ample wage compensations.
PCCS suspended its production in December last year but did not close, which prompted more than 1,000 garment workers to demand the closure of the factory to get wage benefits expected to total more than US$1,000 per worker.
Worker representative Tep Somaly said today the letter came too late for workers, most of whom had received meagre compensation from the factory, contrary to stipulations in the labour law.
Chhun Ny, a worker who stayed on at the factory, said today nearly 60 workers refused the compensation package, which totalled between $300 and $700.
You Meng Try, the PCCS factory representative, could not be reached for comment today.
Moeun Tola, head of the labour programme at the Community Legal Education Centre, said today that the order from the Arbitration Council is legal, but that the inspectors working for the Labour Ministry did not take proper measures to uncover the real reason the factory had stopped production.