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Garment workers 'can’t go on like this'

Garment workers 'can’t go on like this'

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Kob Maryas, an employee of Zhen Yun garment factory, holds up her worker ID card during a protest yesterday.

The factory only gives me 2,500 riel for each hour of overtime

Nearly 400 workers of Zhen Yun factory in the capital’s Russei Keo district went on strike yesterday for not receiving annual bonuses or appropriate overtime pay. The workers also said that they were poorly treated by management.

Heng Sara, a representative of the striking workers, said that the 400 workers would not return to work until their demands were met.

“The workers cannot go on like this,” he said.  “We have 12 demands that we would like the factory to meet, including offering annual bonuses and providing adequate overtime pay.”

Factory worker Soung Kunthea said she does not receive as much overtime pay as she should.

“I work an hour of overtime five days a week, but the factory only gives me 2,500 riel for each hour of overtime. We should be getting 10,000 riel for every hour of overtime,” she said.

While the factory workers were striking yesterday, a Free Trade Union official met with representatives from the factory and the Ministry of Labour. However, no agreement could be reached.

FTU official Man Seng Hak said that this was not the first time the two sides had been in negotiation.

“This is the third time we have met with factory representatives,” he said.  “They always say they agree with our demands, but they never implement any of the changes.”

“We spent nearly two hours in negotiations with no results to show for it,” he said.

The workers would continue striking until their demands were met, said factory worker Kan Sovy.

A factory representative who declined to give her name refused to provide any information about the negotiations.

“It is company business.  I cannot reveal any information,” she said.

All three parties are scheduled to meet again today said Prum Veasna, deputy of the labour dispute department at the Ministry of Labour.

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