Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sleeping migrant workers miss payout

Sleeping migrant workers miss payout

Sleeping migrant workers miss payout

Seeking to appease more than 200 migrant workers who say they were scammed out of promised jobs in Thailand, employment agency Koun Khmer Training Center yesterday doled out compensation to some of the jilted workers they had recruited.

Late on Wednesday night, the company’s owner, Lin Da, relented to demands for reimbursement and gave 32 workers camped outside the agency’s office $160 each, according to one of the recipients.

“We waited all night, but the other workers who left to sleep and came back to the office again on Thursday [yesterday] found the centre closed and the boss’s phone turned off,” said Khen Chan, 30.

Chan added that the $160 wasn’t equal to the commission the company had charged; he said he paid a $260 fee for it to secure him a construction job in Thailand, while others had paid more than $400.

Complaints about the centre began to surface at the beginning of the week when a group of 35 workers were repatriated from Thailand, where they had waited in vain to be picked up by an employer. Thai officials told the group their visas were fakes and sent them home.

Still, Tan Naven, chief of Teuk Thla commune, where Koun Khmer operates, said the company had been operating legally and that there was no need to investigate.

“The company agreed to give money back, so it is a matter between the workers and the business,” he said.

According to Naven, Koun Khmer had recruited 187 workers as a subcontractor for APTSE & C, a recruiter recognised by the Ministry of Labour.

Ministry officials yesterday declined to comment on whether the training centre or parent company’s licence would be suspended, and instead shifted responsibility back to the migrants.

“Workers: know where you are going and what you are going to do … if you just rush you will put yourself at risk for exploitation and trafficking,” said Labour Minister Ith Sam Heng at a safe migration workshop.

According to An Bunhak, director of recruitment agency Top Manpower, there has been an increase in scams in the wake of new labour migration policies.

“Turn on the radio and you will hear many ads of organisations claiming they will get the workers legal jobs in Thailand, but where are all these companies’ licences?” he said.

Workers meanwhile said they would file a complaint about Koun Khmer if they do not receive full reimbursement soon.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom lacks up to 400MW in available electricity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the general public, hoteliers and businesspeople with generators to use them as back-up as the Electricity Authority of Cambodia cannot generate enough electricity to meet needs due to low water levels in power station reservoirs. On Saturday evening

  • Sor Chandeth defends his criticism of Hun Sen

    Former senator Sor Chandeth has defended his choice of words when criticising Hun Sen, saying he was merely speaking metaphorically to attack the Prime Minister’s political life, not his actual person, as the latter seeks damages. [img] Chandeth spoke to The Post on Thursday,

  • South Korea’s Moon arrives in Kingdom for state visit

    South Korean president Moon Jae-in and his wife arrived in Phnom Penh on Thursday at the start of a three-day state visit to Cambodia to strengthen ties and further the friendship between the two countries. After arriving at the Phnom Penh International Airport in the

  • Youths band together to clean ‘filthy’ Boeung Trabek canal

    Inspired by their affection for the environment, a desire to have a clean and beautiful city, and wanting to send a message to people to stop littering, a group of some two dozen volunteer youths have taken to picking up trash day and night from