Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Return reps, upgrade paycheck, say strikers

Return reps, upgrade paycheck, say strikers

Return reps, upgrade paycheck, say strikers

More than 200 workers at a company connected to Thai firm K Cement downed tools yesterday and protested in front of the factory in Kampot province, demanding major pay increases and for fired unionists to be reinstated.

Ty Yann, secretary of the Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Confederation (BWTUC), said workers were protesting against Banjamat Construction Company’s alleged discrimination against union members.

Yann said that since employees and BWTUC leaders Chhun Pov and Tep Mao were fired by K Cement subsidiary Banjamat in November 2010, just a month after forming a union, other unionists have feared similar treatment.

“In fact, the [provincial] court and Arbitration Council ordered K Cement factory to [reinstate] the workers . . . but the company did not agree. It makes other workers fear that the company discriminates against the union,” he said.

Banjamat’s offers in 2012 to reinstate Pov and Mao on six-month contracts and with new roles, which included tending to chickens five kilometres away from the factory gates, were slammed by BWTUC.

According to Yann, the workers on strike yesterday wanted the company to increase their meagre monthly wage of between $70 and $80 to $130. They also called for holiday pay, long-term contracts and for general working conditions to be improved, he said.

One protesting employee, Chan Bopha, said workers are also forced to work in dangerous conditions.

“Some of the workers are women . . . the company [should] stop ordering women to work at dangerous heights.”

Another enraged worker, Sin Bony, said union action is crucial for workers’ rights.

“We need the union to defend our rights in the work place,” Bony said.

Hon Sereyvuth, deputy police commander of Kampot town, said the demonstration passed without violence.

“The protest did not get violent and police were there to [make sure it stayed] safe,” he said.

Representatives of K Cement and Banjamat Construction Company could not be reached for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • First Cambodian woman graduates from Japan’s NDA military academy

    A few years ago, Meach Sithyka Jessica became the first-ever Cambodian woman to graduate from the US Military Academy at West Point, and since then her courage and determination has served as an inspiration for other Cambodian women. Similarly, Ly Chansocheata became the first Cambodian

  • Construction begins on $1.5B Kampot seaport

    The International Multi-Purpose Logistics and Port Centre, principally invested by Kampot Logistics and Port Co Ltd and projected to cost $1.5 billion, has officially broken ground in Bokor town, Kampot province. The multi-purpose logistics and port centre, located in Prek Tnaot commune, will be built on

  • Cambodia eyes key role in electronics, auto hubs in SEA

    Two roadmaps, part of the LDC’s economic diversification plan, were designed to see it through its migration process, but experts say the journey might be arduous, particularly in the presence of two established hubs in the region By 2028, Cambodia hopes to have exited the

  • Hun Neng, lawmaker and PM’s brother, passes away aged 72

    Hun Neng, chairman of the 4th Commission of the National Assembly, has passed away from heart disease at the age of 72 on the afternoon of May 5, according to the Ministry of Information. Hun Neng is the older brother of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and was

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM meets with US business giants

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has met with a number of major US companies who have expressed interest in investing in Cambodia, in a meeting convened by the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC). A delegation of companies – including Amazon, Meta, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Ford, Visa and Pernod