More than 800 Cambodian workers in Thailand were scared to return to work and some had fled their homes yesterday following the violent death of a co-worker outside their factory in Songkhla province on Monday, their representative said.
Phan Chem said workers wanted the Cambodian embassy to come to their aid after a 19-year-old man was allegedly stabbed to death by Burmese co-workers outside the Siam International Food Company.
A Burmese man had also been killed and others were injured, he said.
“Everyone is scared. Now no one dares to go into the place where they used to stay or enter the factory because they are afraid of Burmese workers attacking them,” he said, adding the workers wanted compensation for lost income.
Ministry of Foreign affairs spokesman Koy Kuong said the Cambodian Embassy was assisting Thai officials as they investigated the incident and hunted the victim’s killer.
“What we want is justice,” he said, adding that three Cambodians had also been injured when workers clashed.
Sam Chhay, from the support group Stella Maris Seafarers' Centre, who visited the Cambodian workers, said they had not been given any assistance by the authorities.
“I want the Khmer embassy and Thai authorities to go down and help the Khmer workers,” he said.
Sam Chhay claimed the factory, which could not be reached for comment, was owned by a Thai opposition party lawmaker.
Sok Chamnan, director of the Any Rita Manpower Company, which sent the Cambodian workers to Thailand, could not be reached for comment yesterday, but a staff member said Thai authorities had been investigating.
To contact the reporter on this story: Meas Sokchea at [email protected]