Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - No deal in SL Garment factory face-off

No deal in SL Garment factory face-off

No deal in SL Garment factory face-off

120523_05

Workers from SL Garment Processing (Cambodia)’s SL1 and SL2 factories protest yesterday in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district. Photograph: Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post
A long day of negotiations failed to resolve a factory dispute yesterday at a company that supplies to major international brands Gap, Levi’s and H&M.

After more than 1,500 workers from SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) factories in the capital’s Meanchey district marched to the Ministry of Social Affairs on Monday, officials from that department agreed to help mediate the dispute yesterday morning.

As many as 4,000 workers have been involved in strikes at the two factories since May 12.

Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers Democratic Union, said workers and their bosses were unable to agree after eight hours of discussions at the factory yesterday.

“C.CAWDU played the role of negotiator for the workers, but they disagreed with the factory’s offer, so we couldn’t sign an agreement,” he said.

Workers demanded transport and living allowances totalling $25 per month, but the factory offered a combined $7.

“The workers agreed to drop their demand to $10, but the employer stood firm at $7, which the workers couldn’t accept,” he said.

The strikers’ demand that the factory pay them an attendance bonus of $12 per month, which they later dropped to $10, was also rejected by management, which offered them only $8, Ath Thorn said.

Other demands, including that SL Garment withdraw complaints to the Phnom Penh municipality were also rejected.

The complaints are against three C.CAWDU and 17 workers’ representatives who management accuse of leading strikes after the court ordered employees back to work on May 18.

“They did not want to negotiate and threatened to arrest workers’ representatives like me and C.CAWDU officials,” he said, adding workers would continue striking if no agreement was reached.

Ea Chip Ieng, personnel manager at SL Garment Processing (Cambodia), said brands that sourced from the factory would lose confidence in factories in Cambodia if strikes continued.

“We provide them [workers] with what we can,” he said.

Khuon Ranin, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Social Affairs, who chaired negotiations, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chhay Channyda at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • US to ramp up sanctions after ‘flawed’ national polls

    At a press conference on Wednesday, the US State Department announced that it would expand visa sanctions on the Cambodian officials and individuals it deems responsible for “undermining democracy” in Cambodia. At the briefing, spokesperson Heather Nauert reiterated that the department regarded the July 29 elections

  • Final poll results confirm first single-party Assembly

    IN an unprecedented situation in Cambodian politics, the official results of the July 29 national elections have declared that the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will take all 125 seats in the National Assembly on the back of it receiving 76 per cent of the votes. The National

  • Chinese influence to sweep Kingdom?

    Growing Cambodia-China ties have seen the latter’s influence sweep across the Kingdom through increased investments and tourism. The Asian giant has become the leading source of foreign funds in Cambodia, fuelling the construction sector with huge casino and hotel projects. Much of the growth

  • PM's Bodyguard commander hits back at US

    The commander of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Bodyguard Unit (BGU) Hing Bun Heang on Sunday dismissed a short video clip that went viral on social media in which he says he is preparing for a war with the United States over its aggressiveness towards