More than 100 Free Trade Union of Cambodia supporters gathered in front of the union’s office to express their discontent with a deal struck between the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union and their employer, Puma supplier Thai Pore Garment Manufacturing, FTU officials said yesterday.
FTU representative Sath Sam Oun said that the 100 workers began their strike on Friday after C.CAWDU had accepted, as the majority union, a settlement that met four demands on behalf of the entire factory’s roughly 800 workers – despite some 100 of them represented by the FTU.
The FTU said the deal failed to secure a key demand: that workers be paid a bonus included in the Labour Law for being given inadequate notice that their factory was changing its name to “Star Light”, and moving out of the capital to Kandal province, despite notice having been given in May.
“We would do our best to get 100 per cent of the five points of benefit,” said Sam Oun.
C.CAWDU President Ath Thorn acknowledged the workers’ right to strike, but maintained that most of the factory’s employees were satisfied with the settlement, which he said had netted about $700,000 in bonuses for workers who declined to relocate.
Eng Sovann, an administrator at Thai Pore, said the factory’s owner had agreed to negotiate with the FTU yesterday afternoon if the workers came to work, but they did not.
“C.CAWDU already accepted the negotiation, but not the FTU of Chea Mony,” he said. “Of course, FTU does not have the Ministry [of Labour’s] licence [to run a union] in the factory. But the owner would agree to negotiate if the workers return to work.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Chhay Channyda at [email protected]