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No solution at Gawon meet after no-show

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Workers protested in front of the factory gate in Meanchey district. Hong Menea

No solution at Gawon meet after no-show

The second meeting between First Gawon Apparel (Cambodia) and 70 aggrieved workers failed to find a resolution on Thursday after the factory owner sent only a representative.

Without a resolution to the ongoing labour dispute, Meanchey district authorities are to arrange another meeting, the date of which has not yet been set.

Khem Makara, the union president at First Gawon Apparel and a member of the Cambodian Coalition Alliance Democratic Unions of Workers (C.CAWDU), said: “Our main issue now is the salaries that have not been paid for more than five months. At the meeting this morning we didn’t find any solution – and the owner did not even give a reason why they did not attend.

“Our demands, requested via the Meanchey district governor, are: provide the remaining salaries which have been owed for five months . . . and speed up the dispute resolution – don’t keep it delaying it, because workers can’t afford to buy food.’’

Bent Gehrt, Southeast Asia field director for the Workers Rights Consortium, said: “The authorities have to take quicker action – over five months is too long.

“The employer seems to have no intention of paying the workers’ salaries and solve the problem, and so the government needs to respond and force the employer to pay.”

According to labour rights NGO Central, Labour Law Article 116 states: “In the event of contract termination, wages and other benefits must be paid to workers within 48 hours of termination.”

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