A UNION representative at a factory owned by PCCS Garments Ltd threatened yesterday to organise more strikes unless management dropped a court complaint accusing her of faking thumbprints in order to collect the wages of other workers.
Around 3,000 workers from the factory held a 10-day strike following the dismissal of union organiser Morn Channa, who was fired last month after telling management that workers did not need a doctor’s note in order to apply for sick leave.
She was reinstated following mediation between the two parties at the Ministry of Labour’s Arbitration Council, and workers returned to work on Wednesday.
But Morn Channa appeared at Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday to answer questions related to a complaint filed by the factory owners on July 22 – a day after her dismissal – accusing her of faking thumbprints so she could cash workers’ wages.
“Being a representative of the workers, I have been asked by them to collect their thumbprints to cash their wages for them, because about 10 workers were sick and asked me to do so,” she said. “The factory allowed this process.”
She said that she would order further strikes if the complaint by the factory was not immediately dropped.
Eric Mah, administration and human resources manager at PCCS, said the company could not withdraw the complaint because it was in the hands of the courts.
He said that the threat of further strikes was an attempt by Morn Channa to use the workers as a “weapon”.
“She thumbprinted to get the money for the people, but the people didn’t know about it,” he said. “In this country, if a criminal breaks the law, can they threaten to use workers to get them free? They cannot.”
On July 27, around 50 riot police descended on the factory and tried to force the estimated 3,000 employees back to work. A handful of workers were injured during the fracas, and some demonstrators pelted policemen with plastic chairs and water bottles.
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