Hundreds of workers were sacked at the Sabrina Garment factory on Saturday following several violent protests at the Kampong Speu province premises and the arrest of unionists involved.
Workers and union officials could not give a precise figure on the number of workers who had been sacked following violent clashes between rival unions and police.
The firings came after workers continued to protest outside the provincial court on Friday and Saturday demanding the release on bail of three Free Trade Union leaders and five of their rank and file, who were arrested after a bruising demonstration on Monday.
Phal Nat, 23, who has worked at Sabrina Garment factory for three years and is a member of The Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers said on Saturday that management called her into the administrative office and told her to thumbprint a termination letter.
“They told me that I was sacked. I asked them why and they said I had made a big mistake in the company,” she said.
“I joined the protest but I did not destroy company property. The company has to provide me with benefits. They cannot sack me without paying at all.”
Under Cambodian labour regulations an employee who is found to have committed serious misconduct, including committing violent acts during a strike, can be sacked without notice, provided the employer has evidence and acts within seven days.
Sabrina Garment Factory, which is owned by Sabrina Garment Manufacturing and supplies sportswear giant Nike, could not be reached for comment yesterday.