Kampong Speu provincial authorities said they are working on compensation for 150 workers of Uni Grand Garment who were left high and dry without wages when their factory was suddenly shuttered.

On Wednesday, provincial labour and vocational training department director Chek Borin pointed out the absence of organised rallies from the workers despite the factory owner abandoning them without notice.

Borin said the lack of protest is because “his team is working on the case by collecting data and documents for a report that will be submitted to the central government, requesting for a budget intended for the workers’ compensation”.

“The amount of money depends on the leaders’ decision,” he said, adding that the authorities had locked and guarded the factory to prevent the remaining assets, mostly machines, from being taken.

Labour and Vocational Training Ministry spokesman Heng Sour said it will forward the request to the higher authorities.

“At the moment, we are checking to see if we could auction the remaining assets [of the factory] to pay back the national budget after we compensate the workers,” he said.

Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions (CATU) president Yang Sophorn lauded the solution for the workers. But, she suggested that the government hold the company accountable for violating the Kingdom’s law.

“We want employers to take more responsibilities than the government. They cannot just walk away after earning so much profit off the workers,” she said, stressing that the government must not ignore such issues as it could happen elsewhere.

The Kampong Speu provincial labour and vocational training department said Uni Grand Garment had only been operating for about three months before it shut its doors announced.

Its permit application had just been submitted and is currently being processed.