Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Garment workers stake out Korean-owned factory during holidays, plan protests

Garment workers stake out Korean-owned factory during holidays, plan protests

Garment workers stage a protest over unpaid wages in Kandal province last November.
Garment workers stage a protest over unpaid wages in Kandal province last November. Pha Lina

Garment workers stake out Korean-owned factory during holidays, plan protests

Workers at troubled garment factory Gawon Apparel and sister company First Gawon Apparel are planning large protests this week after the end of Khmer New Year holidays.

Khem Makara, a union representative at Gawon factory in Kandal province's Takhmao town, said about 11 workers stayed behind during Khmer New Year to ensure the Korean factory owners did not take advantage of the holiday to move out equipment.

"We were worried that the employer would transport all the valuable things and assets out from the factory," said Makara, of C.CAWDU. "We have been on standby in the factory since April 11 until now, and let many other workers go to celebrate Khmer New Year, except more than 10 representatives stayed at the factory from day to night time."

"If they bring out the equipment, we'll get nothing to compensate our [unpaid] salary," he said.

The embattled factory has seen protests since last spring over unpaid salaries and fears that the company would shut down, leaving workers without compensation. In January, hundreds of workers were fired from Gawon after allegedly not following a court order to go back to work while the dispute was being resolved.

Gawon factory owner Mercedes Cha and Ministry of Labour spokesman Heng Sour could not be reached Wednesday.

Makara said workers are still owed salaries since December of roughly $180 per month.

Workers will submit petitions to the Council of Ministers, Ministry of Labour, Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, local authorities, the National Social Security Fund and the South Korean Embassy in Cambodia tomorrow or Friday.

"We plan to submit the petition and gather at 10 difference places related to the First Gawon factory, as we already asked permission, so we'll have the sound system and microphone to let those organisations know our grievances," Makara said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused