Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Phnom Penh's Honda workers, union reps rolling again

Phnom Penh's Honda workers, union reps rolling again

Phnom Penh's Honda workers, union reps rolling again

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An employee of the Honda NCX factory bangs a drum during a protest last week in Phnom Penh. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

About 500 employees at the capital’s Honda NCX factory have returned to work after the company agreed to reinstate four sacked union representatives, workers said yesterday.

Soeurn Sot, a technician at Honda NCX, said the company had agreed to allow the four back to work and also promised to allow all employees to form a branch of the Cambodian Labour Confederation in the factory.

“We went back to work on Monday when the company allowed the four unionists to have their jobs back,” he said.

“The director of the company met the workers and said to us that he had not known about what had been happening.

“The company agreed to pay the four fired union representatives wages dating back to when they were fired.”

The company, however, had not addressed all of the workers’ demands – including that administrative manager Eath Seng Ny be sacked for his role in the four workers’ dismissal – but had expressed its willingness to negotiate, Soeurn Sot said.

About 100 workers began striking last Wednesday at the factory in the capital’s Por Sen Chey district, making demands for management to improve conditions for workers, which included awarding bonuses to senior employees.

The number of employees protesting increased to about 500 on Thursday as the strikers maintained claims the company was abusing the labour law, denying workers freedom and discriminating against the union.

Kun Ry, vice president of the Cambodian Labour Confederation, told the Post last week that attempts to resolve the dispute with help from Phnom Penh municipal officials hadn’t worked.

Soeurn Sot said workers had resorted to striking because they believed it was the only way their grievances could be heard.

“We all cooperated with each other. The workers were not afraid of losing their work. What we did, though, was our last choice, but we won,” Soeurn Sot said.

Eath Seng Ny, Honda NCX administrative manager, confirmed the company had agreed to reinstate the four workers.

“We found a resolution, and they [all] agreed to go back to work,” he said.

The company will follow standard legal procedure to address the remainder of the demands, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at [email protected]

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