The manager of the Ta Prohm temple restoration project, run by the Archaeological Survey of India in conjunction with Cambodia’s Apsara Authority, yesterday told workers on the project that he would raise their demand for the reinstatement of 30 dismissed colleagues with the Indian Embassy.
Manager Deyendra Singh Sood said he would ask the Indian ambassador whether the government could find additional work so that the dismissed workers could be employed part-time in rotating teams as the 30 had suggested in a meeting with him yesterday.
“I will call my embassy and tell them what you have suggested, and I will tell you what the embassy says tomorrow,” Sood told the rest of the workers after the meeting.
More than 100 workers have been striking since Tuesday to demand the reinstatement of the 30. El Sarath, one of the dismissed workers, said the other 29 men are willing to accept part-time work.
But India’s ambassador to Cambodia, Dinesh Patnaik, said a solution would depend on whether the workers still employed by the project also would be willing to accept a cut in work, because no more jobs were available on the project.
Although the dismissed workers have maintained they were targeted because of their attempts at collective bargaining, Patnaik said they were dismissed because their specific skills were no longer needed.
The project began in 2006 and was “winding down” to its conclusion in 2014, he said.
If the workers did not accept the Indian Embassy’s solution, Sood suggested they ask the Apsara Authority about other temple restoration work.
To contact the reporter on this story: Thik Kaliyann at [email protected]
With assistance from: Justine Drennan at [email protected]