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Labour negotiations begin at SL Garment factoy

Workers from the SL Garment Processing factory strike in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district
Workers from the SL Garment Processing factory strike in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district. VIREAK MAI

Labour negotiations begin at SL Garment factoy

A meeting between factory management and representatives of more than 5,000 striking workers at one of Asia’s largest garment-processing factories yielded no progress.

The Ministry of Social Affairs coordinated the sit-down between SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd and the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) nine days after workers first walked off the job, C.CAWDU officer Suth Seam said.

In addition to eight other demands – including a $150 minimum monthly wage – SL employees are calling on the factory to cut all ties with shareholder Meas Sotha, who they say hired military police to stand guard inside the factory to intimidate unionised workers.

“We did not come to a solution yet,” said Vong Sovann, deputy secretary-general of the Social Affairs Ministry’s strikes settlement committee. “The case is difficult because the company wants to send the case to the court and the workers want to solve it through negotiation.”

Ken Loo, secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, has called the strike illegal because workers failed to notify the company before they walked off the job.

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