Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry reiterates holiday pay

Ministry reiterates holiday pay

Garment workers leave Phnom Penh for the provinces on an overloaded vehicle prior to Khmer New Year in 2013
Garment workers leave Phnom Penh for the provinces on an overloaded vehicle prior to Khmer New Year in 2013. Vireak Mai

Ministry reiterates holiday pay

The Ministry of Labour has announced that factory managers must allow employees three days off for Khmer New Year, even as some union leaders encourage workers to extend that time.

In a letter to factory owners dated March 25, Labour Minister Ith Sam Heng reminds owners that workers have the legal right to paid time off from April 14 until April 16.

“The ministry wants to mention that in cases where factories cannot stop work for the holiday, owners and managers must find employees who volunteer to work,” Sam Heng’s letter, obtained yesterday, reads. “Those who work are entitled to receive [double-time].”

Tomorrow, the leaders of eight unions will send a letter to the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) asking them to communicate to factory owners that union members request annual leave for April 17 to April 23, said Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW). This would ensure workers receive pay while taking part in a stay-at-home strike.

Workers’ demand for a minimum monthly wage of $160 and for the court to drop charges against 23 defendants – 21 of whom are still detained in prison – arrested at January strike demonstrations have slowed since a boycott of overtime work in February, Sina said. But enthusiasm for the strike is high.

“I often meet with factory workers to get an idea of how many of them plan on striking,” Sina said yesterday. “Most of them are waiting for the strike to begin and will not abandon their willingness to participate.”

Sok Lim, 23, who works at Canadia Industrial Park, said she looks forward to spending time with her family over Khmer New Year, since it is the only time of year she is able to visit them. But Lim’s desire for higher wages will keep her out of work an extra week.

“I will take another week off to demand a higher minimum wage and the release of 21 people,” Lim said. “I must join for my own benefit.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh authorities ban march for Human Rights Day

    Phnom Penh authorities have banned a planned march as local NGOs and workers’ unions gear up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, with a youth group leader saying they would march nonetheless. The UN

  • Government deports 235 Chinese scammers

    THE Immigration Department of the Ministry of Interior on Thursday deported 235 Chinese nationals, 35 of whom were female, via the Phnom Penh International Airport for their part in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) online money extortion scam. The deportees were arrested on November 26 over the

  • Phnom Penh’s Jet’s Container Night Market shuts down

    The famous Jet’s Container Night Market in central Phnom Penh has shut down due to the high cost of the land rental, company representatives claim. Jet’s Container Night Market is the largest such market in Phnom Penh. It operated for just over two

  • International buyers snap up new locally produced watch

    A Cambodian entrepreneur has launched a stylish high-end watch, hoping to promote the Khmer creative talent and increase demand for the Kingdom’s products abroad. Designer Seth Pitu launched his brand PU a mere 60 days ago, and hopes to combine traditional Khmer art with sleek