The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has so far provided 30 cash handouts to workers in the garment and tourism sectors, with this week’s number totalling to almost 13,000 workers.
With the most recent payouts, the ministry announced workers had to get their cash handouts early this week. This week showed 12,441 workers from 58 factories and enterprises will receive the government allowances.
A notice issued by the ministry said Wing (Cambodia) Limited Specialised Bank would send the workers messages about the payouts to the phone numbers they gave the ministry through factory administrations.
The bank will transfer the allowances to the government if a worker fails to get it within 10 days of receiving the message from the bank.
Ministry spokesperson Heng Sour could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
Minister of Labour Ith Sam Heng recently told The Post that between 100 and 150 factories had suspended daily work. Some 40,000 to 50,000 workers had been affected by the suspensions.
“I would like to state that if a factory is suspended, it doesn’t mean they closed their doors. Factories have not suspended their work completely. Some of them suspend supply chains or suspend work partially,” he said.
Collective Union of Movement of Workers president Pav Sina said he supported the allowances to the workers although it is small.
“The allowance is not much but is better for our workers than if they had no income at all. The government has shown its support to help ease some of their burden. Until now, we have no information that workers didn’t get the money. They got the allowances,” he said.
Sina said the ministry should have more measures in place in case employers use the opportunity to dismiss workers. The ministry should issue a letter ordering employers that dismissed workers and workers whose employment contracts expired to be reinstated in their jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mai Chan, a factory worker from Kandal province, said he has twice received the government and employer allowances since his factory suspended workers for two months. He just returned to work.
He said he received $140 in total, but he still encountered living difficulties because he didn’t generate other income.
“I received a $40 allowance from the Ministry of Labour and a $30 allowance from the factory each time. This money is not much, but it is good for us workers to get such government assistance,” Chan said.