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

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the