Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t declares employers must pay seniority as workers strike



Gov’t declares employers must pay seniority as workers strike

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Workers gathered to protest for the second day in front of the Y & W Garment Co Ltd in Spean Thma commune’s Prek Chrey village of Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district. The protesters carried signs and blocked a public road, calling on the Chinese owner of the factory to meet their demands. CENTRAL

Gov’t declares employers must pay seniority as workers strike

Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng has issued a notice for enterprises and their employees, announcing that newly accrued seniority payments and those owed in arrears should all be made payable to workers this year.

Instructions from Sam Heng on January 21 detailed payment schedules for current and past-due benefits.

Seniority payments owed to workers for 2019 or before, if any, that went unpaid last year should now be paid in the first and third quarters of this year. Payments from 2019 or before which were scheduled to be paid this year shall be issued in the second and fourth quarters.

Seniority payments for last year will be paid in the first and third quarters this year, while payments earned this year will be issued in the second and fourth quarters.

“Workers and their employers can negotiate to determine procedures and specific timelines of these seniority payments according to the circumstances of their businesses,” Sam Heng said.

The ministry called on employers and workers to put common interests first and find responsible solutions for sustainable harmony in work environments.

Separately on January 21, an estimated 6,000 workers gathered to protest for the second day in front of the Y & W Garment Co Ltd in Spean Thma commune’s Prek Chrey village of Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district.

The protesters carried signs and blocked a public road, calling on the Chinese owner of the factory to meet their demands.

A woman who has worked there for five years and spoke on condition of anonymity said negotiations with the company had reached an impasse, and without further recourse, workers decided to hold the protests.

“Until a solution is reached, we will continue to protest and block the road. The factory has continued delaying seniority payments and severance pay. We cannot wait anymore,” she said.

Some workers accused police of using violence and arresting a worker, but police denied the accusation.

Dangkor police chief Chim Sitha told The Post on January 21 that police had neither arrested any protesters nor used violence against them.

“The labour ministry is working with all related parties to negotiate a settlement. The accusations by workers against the police are not true – they’re only rumours,” he said.

He noted, however, that he and a traffic police officer had sustained minor injuries after being struck by bottles of water, batons and stones thrown at them as they attempted to clear protesters from blocking the road.

Workers had thrown the bottles at his face and at the chest of the officer accompanying him while two cars had also been damaged, he added.

Tes Rokaphal, secretary-general of the ministry’s Committee for the Settlement of Strikes and Demonstrations, could not be reached for comment on January 21, nor could representatives of Y & W Garment.

Phnom Penh municipal labour department director Chuon Vuthy said officials had gone to the scene to work towards resolution.

Seng Sokea, an employee at the factory, said the owner had broken a promise to make seniority payments on January 20 as well as providing a government-mandated five per cent severance pay. Instead, workers were told to wait.

“The employer then promised that he would provide the seniority payments in March, but we did not agree and have gathered to stage the protests,” she said.

Protesters warned that they might block the road indefinitely until a solution is achieved.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Preah Sihanouk hit with travel ban

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration has announced a temporary travel ban to and from the province, except for ambulances and trucks transporting goods. The announcement came after prime minister Hun Sen called on people in the province to travel only if necessary, and that people not

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • AstraZeneca jabs touch down in Phnom Penh airport

    The first shipment of 324,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/SII vaccine which was provided through the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility was delivered to Phnom Penh International Airport on March 2. The rest of the COVAX provided vaccines will arrive in Cambodia at a later date.

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said