Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Factory wage rallies heat up

Factory wage rallies heat up

Workers from Ocean Garment factory burn tyres in front of the company’s factory during a protest
Workers from Ocean Garment factory burn tyres in front of the company’s factory during a protest yesterday demanding to be paid for the period of time the factory was closed. Pha Lina

Factory wage rallies heat up

More than 1,000 workers held a demonstration in front of Ocean Garment factory in the capital yesterday, burning tyres and blocking the road in protest against the management’s refusal to abide by a ruling that workers be paid in full for a one-month closure.

On May 24, Ocean management announced to employees that the factory would close until June 26, and that workers would be paid $15 for the intervening period.

After the Arbitration Council ruled on Wednesday that the factory – which remains closed – must pay employees their full salaries for the month (at least $100 per worker), Ocean wrote in a letter that it would not follow the ruling and intended to pay workers just $50 for that month.

“Because of our anger, we decided to block the street in front of the factory and burn more than 10 tyres on factory grounds,” said Houn Vanna, a representative of workers at the factory in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district.

Members of Ocean’s management could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Workers plan on broadening their protest of the factory’s recent decree by demonstrating in front of the Ministry of Labour as well as in front of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s home in the capital, Vanna said. Authorities have blocked protesting Ocean employees from marching to the premier’s house on multiple occasions.

Rallies will begin next week, Vanna said, so as not to interfere with today’s procession of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk’s ashes.

In its notice on Wednesday, Ocean also offered an annual seniority bonus of $100 to employees who have worked at the factory for at least seven months.

But promises of future perks do little for Pen Nary, 43, who has worked at Ocean for more than a decade. She said yesterday that she is in danger of being evicted from her rental home and has had to borrow money just to buy food.

“The house owner gave me two days to come up with rent. If I still do not have money for them, they will not allow me to stay,” Nary told the Post.

“If I’m evicted, I will gather all my possessions, stay in front of the factory and protest until we receive our wages.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors

  • Vietnam told to remove border tents

    Kandal provincial governor Kong Sophoan has ordered local authorities to prohibit the construction of buildings in areas bordering Cambodia and to report any irregularities immediately. Recently, Vietnamese officials removed another seven tents from the border area with Cambodia. His remarks were made on Wednesday afternoon