Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Minister asks garment factory to recall 37 workers

Minister asks garment factory to recall 37 workers

Minister asks garment factory to recall 37 workers

The Minister of Social Aff-airs has sent a letter to the management of the Tai Yang and Camwell garment factories, suppliers to Levi’s and Gap, requesting it reinstate 37 workers involved in a strike that has dragged on for almost two months.

“In order to ensure security and public order and to end this persistent striking, I ask the director of Tai Yang Enterprises to reinstate all workers,” the letter from Ith Sam Heng, dated August 17 and obtained by the Post yesterday, states.

Unions and the American Centre for International Labour Solidarity (ACILS) have been calling for the letter since August 3, when ACILS and the ministry met to discuss the fate of the remaining 37 strikers, whom the comp-any claimed to have sacked.

ACILS country director Dave Welsh, whose organis-ation has been backing the workers, hopes the issue is now resolved.

“It’s very positive,” Welsh said last night. “The only other time something like this has happened was during the general strike of 2010. That was the Prime Minister [Hun Sen] giving the order . . . and this is a much smaller issue, but it’s an important issue.”

But according to GMAC secretary-general Ken Loo, the letter changed nothing.

“I’m sure we will advise the factory to maintain its existing position,” he said, adding that the company had a court document that had ordered the strikers back to work before their sacking.

“I’m not sure how, or in what form, the [minister’s] letter was presented, and I would assume that this letter can only be a letter of request . . . I don’t think it can come in the form of an order.”

Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Confederat-ion of Unions, said the reinstatement request was a victory, but he was disappointed the workers’ original request for seniority bonuses had not been mentioned.

Tai Yang Enterprises manager Wu Minghuor, who had previously said a letter would not make him accept the workers back, could not be reached last night.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shane Worrell at [email protected]
With assistance from Khouth Sophak Chakrya


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australian police investigating death threat against Kem Ley's widow

    Updated: 10:17am, Friday March 23, 2018 Australian authorities on Thursday confirmed they have launched an investigation into a crudely written death threat sent tothe family of slain political analyst Kem Ley and Victoria state MP Hong Lim. The typed letter, reported to Victoria police last week, is

  • Apparel groups including H&M and Gap urge Cambodia garment industry reform, seek meeting with Hun Sen

    A group representing some of the largest apparel brands in the US and Europe – including Gap, H&M and ASOS – expressed “growing concern” on Tuesday over several controversial labour laws and ongoing court cases against unionists described as restrictive and unjust. In an open letter

  • Hun Sen says Montagnards don’t exist in Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen once again attacked ex-opposition leader Sam Rainsy for pledging “autonomy” to Montagnards, claiming – seemingly incorrectly – the ethnic minority does not exist in Cambodia. “We respect all minorities such as Jarai, Steang, Phnong, but we have never had Montagnards,” the premier said