Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gawon workers block road again over unpaid wages

Gawon workers block road again over unpaid wages

Workers from the Gawon Apparel garment factory resumed their strike over unpaid wages yesterday, blocking a road in Kandal province’s Takhmao town.
Workers from the Gawon Apparel garment factory resumed their strike over unpaid wages yesterday, blocking a road in Kandal province’s Takhmao town. Pha Lina

Gawon workers block road again over unpaid wages

Garment workers resumed their strike against the Gawon Apparel Cambodia Co today, demanding bosses sell factory equipment to pay their salaries, though a factory official claimed the company will suspend workers to settle payroll shortages.

About 200 workers had blocked the street near one of the entrances to the factory in Kandal province’s Takhmao town when reporters arrived around 10am, but San Sokhorn, a representative for the demonstrators, said only 700 workers participated in this rally, a lower turnout than previous strikes.

Worker Bun Sivan said the protesters were petitioning the factory for the $50 to $60 owed to each employee, plus better treatment and fewer overtime hours.

“We discussed with the owners, and if the factory cannot operate anymore, the boss needs to sell the factory and pay the workers who have not gotten enough salary for months,” she said.

After a series of strikes against Gawon bosses, the protesters demand the company liquidate assets because solutions proposed in negotiations never materialised, Sokhorn said.

“This Korean boss is rude and shows contempt for Cambodians; he looks down on us,” she said.

Sreymom, a Gawon payroll staffer who would only provide her given name, said the company paid November salaries on time, but they would not pay for the week of salaries demanded because workers were on strike at the time.

“If they try to make a strike, the company won’t provide salary for them because they didn’t work, so how could the company pay for their work?” Sreymom asked.

The payroll officer said the company was seeking approval from the Ministry of Labour to suspend about 200 to 300 employees because the company “did not have enough work for them”, saying the move would prevent future salary shortages.

Thol Neang, Kandal provincial Labour Department director, said he stepped in to facilitate negotiations yesterday and in past strikes, but he plans to send the conflict to the Arbitration Council.

"The workers want that boss sell this factory, but the factories bosses responded that it will resume normal operations and buy more than 20 new sewing machines," he said. “In fact, both sides have made mistakes.”

Additional reporting by Danielle Keeton-Olsen

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro