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Garment factory employees protest short-term contracts

Employees of Orient Spring Cambodian garment factory gather in Meanchey district yesterday during a protest. Photo supplied
Employees of Orient Spring Cambodian garment factory gather in Meanchey district yesterday during a protest. Photo supplied

Garment factory employees protest short-term contracts

More than a hundred workers at the Orient Spring Cambodian garment factory in the capital’s Meanchey district have been protesting since Friday against the firm’s continued use of short-term employment contracts.

The workers said the factory’s management refused to give them contracts longer than three months despite having reached seniority, demanding at least six-month work contracts, according to Neang Sanha, president of the Worker Unity Trade Union. According to Cambodian labour laws, workers with two years’ seniority are entitled to be transferred to undetermined duration contracts, or long-term contracts.

“The workers must get what they demand, because what they are demanding is not unreasonable,” said Sanha.

He added that the three-month contracts had led to concerns among the workers that the factory may close down or that there could be layoffs. He said workers were still negotiating with the factory to find a resolution to their demands.

Apart from longer contracts, Sanha said workers also wanted a 2,000 riel (about $0.50) daily food allowance, as well as 18 days’ paid annual leave a year.

Worker Srey Nang said they needed contracts lasting at least six months because “we need to have stability . . . We have heard the factory wants to end the contracts of some workers.”

Contact information for the factory was not available.

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