Authorities in Phnom Penh’s Por Senchey district on April 11 facilitated the negotiation of a settlement between a factory owner and its workers that ended their public protests in Choam Chao II commune.

The protests were staged by 290 villagers over the Independent Garment Factory's failure to pay wages to them.

Deputy district governor Pang Lida confirmed on April 12 that the protests at the factory took place on April 10 after the factory owner allegedly refused to pay the workers.

He said that after the protest, the authorities went to facilitate a settlement, and on April 11 the settlement was completed successfully and the factory agreed to pay the wages of all the workers.

“Now the money has arrived. When the funds are paid out, it is time to go home to spend three days at home celebrating the Khmer New Year, so may you all have a joyful, safe trip on the roads while travelling to see your families and when you return,” Lida told the protesting workers.

According to Lida, a team from the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training worked with the factory owner to reach a resolution to the dispute.

Following the successful mediation, the workers were satisfied with the outcome. Lida also thanked all the employees and factory representatives who helped to settle the dispute peacefully on behalf of the local authorities.

Cambodian labour law mandates that all workers in garment factories and manufacturing enterprises be given paid leave for the Khmer New Year holiday for a period of three days.

According to the law, if the operation of a factory or enterprise with a global business objective would be harmed by all employees taking their holidays at once or at the same time, the owner or management of the factory is then responsible for making arrangements for the employees to take turns going on holiday.

Employees who work on the holiday are entitled to double their regular wage on those days, according to the ministry statement.

The owners and management of businesses, factories and manufacturing enterprises have been reminded by the ministry to diligently implement all of the required provisions under Cambodia's labour laws and treat their workers fairly or face legal consequences if the situation is not resolved appropriately and mediation is unsuccessful.