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Kampong Speu protesting workers agree to end strike

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Some 800 workers at Monopia Cambodia factory in Kampong Speu province protest against the dismissal of their union leader. CENTRAL

Kampong Speu protesting workers agree to end strike

Workers who held a strike last week at the Monopia (Cambodia) factory in Kampong Speu province had agreed to resume work following a protective measure on the factory issued by the court. However, they warned that a new protest is possible.

The inspection committee from the provincial Labour Department said they would issue a solution after a weeklong investigation.

More than 600 of the 900 workers at Monopia, located at Kampong Speu’s Samrong Tong district, protested last Thursday after they had received information that two of their representatives were sacked.

The head of the Kampong Speu provincial Department of Labour and Vocational Training Cheuk Borin said on Tuesday that inspection officials were collecting evident related to the dismissal of the two worker representatives who were allegedly not performing well and were rude to the factory owner.

He said the investigation would take a week starting from the day the workers went on strike, and there would be a solution for both sides. If any party was not satisfied, they could file a complaint to the next level of authority.

“Normally, the companies do not have the right to fire the union leaders who represent workers without the permission of inspection officials.

“Our officials need seven days to investigate to find out the reason and fault and to see if the allegations are true.

“If we found out that there is a serious mistake, we will allow the company to sack them. But if no serious mistake is found, we will instruct the company to take them back to work,” Borin said.

He said the factory had filed a complaint with the Kampong Speu Provincial Court to help protect the factory while workers continued their protest.

The court had ordered the workers to go back to work within 48 hours, and also suspended seven workers who had joined the protest.

The provincial court’s spokesperson Sorn Vireak could not be reached for comment.

Monopia chief of administration Sam Sochea said the factory would adhere to the directive of the inspection officials no matter what decision was made. He said the court had suspended the seven workers for staging an illegal protest.

“The suspension of the seven workers is a separate story. We first suspended only two. But the seven workers gathered other workers for an illegal protest. Nonetheless, we have not decided to fire them and they are just on the list from the court as a protective measure,” Sochea said.

Oeun Channy, a worker representative who was fired, told The Post on Tuesday that the protest was carried out by the workers themselves without any incitement because they think that his sacking was unjust. He said workers are planning to hold other protests soon.

“The workers just resumed work to avoid violating the court order. But they don’t want to work. I am going to inform the factory and the authority that workers at this factory will rally again in the next seven days after the court’s protective order had expired,” Chhany said.

He said there were three requests from the union and workers which, if fulfilled, would be the solution. The union wants the nine suspended workers to be reinstated, refrain from discriminating against the workers’ union, and have the factory’s head of administration sacked.

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