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Labour ministry to check provision of seniority payments

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Ministry of Labour spokesman Heng Sour talks during a press conference in 2015. Hong Menea

Labour ministry to check provision of seniority payments

The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training is preparing to send officials to check on whether the second phase of seniority payments will be provided to garment factory workers at the end of the year, said ministry spokesman Heng Sour.

Last year, the ministry announced that from this year onwards, seniority payments will be made to workers in the textile, garment and footwear industries twice a year, with one in June and the other in December.

“The first phase [of payment] was made in June and went smoothly. So we expect the second phase to go smoothly as well.

“However, the ministry will send out officials to follow up on the process at textile and garment factories to ensure that they follow the procedure set by the ministry,” Sour said.

Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia deputy secretary-general Kaing Monika could not be reached for comment by The Post on Monday.

Collective Union of Movement of Workers president Pav Sina acknowledged that the first phase of seniority payments had gone as planned. However, he said he was concerned that some factory owners might not follow through on the second phase, particularly at factories without workers unions.

“It is good that the Ministry of Labour will send officials to review the seniority payment. But I think it’s also important for the ministry to instruct all employers to pay their workers on a specific date. Then the officials can check if this has happened.

“Otherwise, the ministry would not be able to manage the inspection process because they wouldn’t know the date [of payment],” Sina said.

Sina also asked for transparency from officials during the inspection process to ensure the effective distribution of payment.

Tan Sopha, a worker at a garment factory along Veng Sreng Boulevard in Phnom Penh, said she was looking forward to receiving the second seniority payment of this year and hoped for its timely distribution.

“I wish it would come soon. I am looking forward to it. I am so happy, though it is just a small amount, because it is [money earned] through sweat and toil that can help us in a time of need,” Sopha said.

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