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Fainting factory may see strike

Fainting factory may see strike

The Free Trade Union informed M&V International Manufacturing on Saturday that a strike would be held at its garment factory in Kampong Chhnang province within one week if demands from workers were not met.

“If the company does not accept our demands we will go on strike,” FTU president Chea Mony said.

The eight demands include rehiring 20 FTU leaders and members allegedly fired last month after they tried to set up a branch at the factory to demand better working conditions.

In Mun, a human resources officer at the factory, expressed surprise about the planned strike, saying that staff at his factory did not belong to the FTU. “I am doubtful that he [Chea Mony] could lead a strike when his union is not listed in the factory’s unions.”

Chea Mony said last month that workers at the factory began joining the FTU after two mass fainting incidents at the factory in August. The faintings prompted investigations by the labour ministry, the International Labour Organisation and global brand H&M, which buys apparel from the factory. Anna Eriksson, a spokesperson for H&M, said that the workers were allegedly fired for joining the FTU were temporary staff.

“According to our report, the employees you refer to had temporary employment at the M&V factory,” she said  last month.  

Som Sinath, deputy director of the labour and vocational training department in Kampong Chhnang, said the strike would be illegal because workers were not FTU members. Chea Mony could face legal consequences if he was  found to be behind a strike at the factory, Som Sinath said.

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