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

  • Hun Sen asks Cambodians to believe in government

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday asked citizens and investors to trust that the government will overcome the challenges brought about by Covid-19 and the loss of the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme. Speaking to reporters at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh,

  • Westerdam passenger ‘never had’ Covid-19

    The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the US citizen that allegedly tested positive in Malaysia after travelling on the Westerdam was never infected with Covid-19 in the first place. In an article published in the newspaper USA Today on Friday, CDC

  • ‘Ghost staff’ found, $1.7M returned to state coffers

    The Ministry of Civil Service said more than seven billion riel ($1.7 million) in salaries for civil servants was returned to the state last year after it discovered that the books had been cooked to pay ‘ghost officials’. This is despite claims by the Ministry of

  • Woman wanted for killing own son

    Police in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district are on the lookout for a woman who allegedly hacked her son to death on Sunday in Stung Meanchey III commune. District police chief Meng Vimeandara identified the son as Chan Sokhom, 32. “The offender can’t escape forever.

  • H5N1 also poses deadly threat, ministry warns

    The Ministry of Health’s Communicable Disease Control (CDC) department has called on citizens to excise caution over H5N1 or bird flu that is spreading in the southern province of Vietnam. In a Facebook post, the department announced that it has made a series

  • Malaysia in turmoil

    Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has done it again. At the centre of two days of high drama and political manoeuvring, he has, wittingly or not, contributed to shaking Malaysia, and further causing its equities market to fall nearly three per cent. The drama