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Factory workers resume protests, defy Arbitration Council’s decision

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A representative of the dismissed workers said they had their employment unfairly terminated after they voted in favour of forming a union at the factory. Photo supplied

Factory workers resume protests, defy Arbitration Council’s decision

Workers of a factory in Phnom Penh’s Kamboul district on Monday resumed protests after their employer refused to reinstate four workers dismissed for forming a union.

The Arbitration Council recently issued a decision requiring workers at Factory T&L to quit the protest and return to work.

Live streaming the protest on Monday, San Samun, a representative of the dismissed workers, said they had their employment unfairly terminated after they voted in favour of forming a union at the factory.

Samun said the employer’s decision violated workers’ rights. He said the employer didn’t want a union because the factory did not respect the Labour Law.

“Workers protest of their own volition. No one is forcing them. They want their representatives to be reinstated so that they can continue fighting for their rights. The factory has violated their rights in the past,” he said.

Uok Chhorvoan, a member of the Workers Development Union Federation and one of the dismissed workers, said that in violation of the Arbitration Council’s decision, the employer did not allow the dismissed workers to return to the factory.

He said workers refuse to work until their colleagues were reinstated.

“The employer is not allowing me to return to work, so the others don’t want to go back to work either. I am not forcing them. There is no incitement. They are showing solidarity with us,” he said.

Tes Rokhaphal, the deputy secretary-general of the Committee for the Resolution of Strikes at the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, told The Post on Monday that the workers did not abide by the Arbitration Council’s decision and continued to strike.

He said the Committee will continue to work to end the conflict. “On Monday, our working group tried to reconcile them to no avail. We will continue to work for their reconciliation,” he said.

An official of the Workers Development Union Federation told The Post that Factory T&L produces bags. The factory is Chinese-owned and employs 380 workers.

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