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Fired beer promoters seek severance

Beer promoters protest the the Anco Brothers office in Phnom Penh yesterday.
Beer promoters protest the the Anco Brothers office in Phnom Penh yesterday. Heng Chivoan

Fired beer promoters seek severance

Gathering in front of Anco Brothers Company, eight former female promoters of Budweiser beer yesterday protested their dismissal without severance.

The company, which is owned by tycoon Kok An, distributes Budweiser beer, Evian mineral water and 555 cigarettes.

According to the Cambodian Food and Service Workers’ Federation (CFSWF), Anco fired 12 beer promoters on January 27.

Among the 12 promoters, eight filed complaints seeking severance for their three to 16 years of work, ranging from $634 to $4,571.

On June 23, the [Ministry of Labour] Arbitration Council ordered Anco to pay up for the eight, but Un Sotheary, who had been working as a beer promoter for 15 years, said the company has yet to pay them.

“We are here for the money we earned. We faced difficulties such as drunken guests trying to shoot us, forcing us to drink beer, degrading and insulting us. The company does not care”, she said.

An official from the CFSWF, Um Visal, urged the company to pay as ordered saying that, in the past, Anco allegedly violated labour rights and exploited workers.

Chhum Moharkosal, an Anco sales representative, said the promoters were not full-time staff but instead worked for and received their salary from Budweiser.

He added that the dismissal of those women was the result of Budweiser failing to sell. Moharkosal stated that Anco provided the women with a severance payment of one month’s salary.

“Anco is not involved because the company is separate from Budweiser,” he said.

However, Phat Phanna, one of the eight, maintained it was Anco that paid them.

Anheuser-Busch, Budweiser’s manufacturer, could not be reached for comment.

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