Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen continues to court factory workers

Hun Sen continues to court factory workers

Prime Minister Hun Sen takes a photograph with representatives of the garment industry yesterday on Phnom Penh's Diamond Island.
Prime Minister Hun Sen takes a photograph with representatives of the garment industry yesterday on Phnom Penh's Diamond Island. Facebook

Hun Sen continues to court factory workers

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday continued his campaign to court the nation’s garment workers, meeting with 4,400 workers’ representatives on Koh Pich and vowing to ensure they received promised benefits, such as a higher minimum wage and health insurance.

After the meeting, the premier took to Facebook to repeat his promise to take workers’ concerns seriously, and also offered another populist pledge to reduce utility costs. “The efforts of the prime minister under the ruling [Cambodian People’s Party] are to take good care of the people,” he said.

He also announced that water prices would decrease from September onwards, from between 1,000 to 1,500 riel per cubic metre to a maximum of 800 riels per cubic metre.

Following his announcement last week that employers will have to pay the entirety of workers’ health insurance starting from January 2018 – instead of 50 percent being paid by the employees, as is currently the case – Hun Sen on Saturday signed a sub-decree amending the rules for all workers registered with the National Social Security Fund.

Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks to representatives of the garment industry yesterday on Phnom Penh’s Koh Pich.
Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks to representatives of the garment industry yesterday on Phnom Penh’s Koh Pich. Facebook

Garment worker Pa Sineng said she was happy about the benefits, but noted that they came too late. “I remember that in 2013 and 2014, workers protested to get decent wages, but unfortunately [the protests] were cracked down, and [workers] were injured and some even died, but the minimum wage that the government provided was not the wage we asked for,” Sineng said.

The coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union President Ath Thorn echoed the concern and called attention to the fact that the moves come ahead of national elections. “We struggled for many years to get the minimum wages increased, and this year – close to the national election – the prime minister offers a lot of benefits,” he said.

CPP spokespersons Sok Eysan and Sous Yara could not be reached yesterday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia rejects UN rights claim

    Cambodia's Permanent Mission to the UN Office in Geneva on Friday hit back at David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression after he raised concerns over the repression of free speech and

  • Snaring may spawn diseases

    The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has warned that snaring of animals has become a crisis that poses a serious risk to wildlife in Southeast Asia and could spawn the transmission of zoonotic diseases to humans. Its July 9 report entitled Silence of the Snares: Southeast Asia’

  • Ex-party leader, gov’t critic named as secretary of state

    A former political party leader known for being critical of the government has been appointed secretary of state at the Ministry of Rural Development, a royal decree dated July 9 said. Sourn Serey Ratha, the former president of the Khmer Power Party (KPP), told The Post

  • Residence cards set for over 80,000 immigrants

    The Ministry of Interior plans to grant residence cards to more than 80,000 immigrants to better keep track of them. The ministry announced the plan on July 10, following the results of an immigration census. “An inter-ministerial committee and many operational working groups have been set up

  • Kingdom produces PPE gear

    Medical supplies from Cambodia have been donated to member countries of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to assist in the fight against Covid-19, said an ADB report published on July 9. The report stated that the supplies were donated as a response to global efforts to

  • Kingdom, US vow stronger ties

    At an academic forum on Saturday to celebrate 70 years of Cambodia-US diplomatic ties, Cambodian researchers and officials expressed hope of encouraging US investments and for that country to deepen and improve its bilateral relations. Held at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, it reviewed the past 70

  • Fifteen Cambodians from Saudi get Covid-19

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday confirmed 15 more imported cases of Covid. The 15 men ‒ all Cambodian aged 21 to 33 ‒ arrived from Saudi Arabia on Friday via a connecting flight in Malaysia. They were travelling with 79 other passengers, three of them women. The ministry said 80 of the

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The