Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - SRP censures strike bust-up

SRP censures strike bust-up

SRP censures strike bust-up

THE opposition Sam Rainsy Party yesterday condemned an armed crackdown on striking garment factory workers this week, saying that peaceful means should be used to resolve their dispute with factory management.

On Tuesday, around 50 riot police descended on a factory owned by PCCS Garments Limited in Sen Sok district and tried to force an estimated 3,000 employees back to work. In the process, several workers were pushed to the ground and stunned with electric batons, and some demonstrators retaliated by throwing water bottles and plastic chairs at police.

“The use of violence on workers like this is a serious violation of individuals’ rights and the freedom of expression of the workers, which is guaranteed by the Cambodian Constitution and the Law on Peaceful Demonstrations,” the SRP said in a statement.

The strike followed six days of protests at the factory that were triggered by the dismissal of union representative Morn Channa last week.

“Once again SRP condemns the use of violence against workers of PCCS Garment Factory and would like to call for the authorities and garment factory owners to resolve the problems and allow Morn Channa ... to be re-employed,” the statement said.

PCCS workers continued their strike yesterday, and garment worker Phan Sreypov pledged that they would continue their strike until Morn Channa was reinstated.

“We still must keep our stance and demand the same until the factory owner has a resolution for Morn Channa,” she said.

But You Meng Try, a PCCS representative, said Wednesday that if the workers do not return to work by today, their salaries will be docked and they could face dismissal themselves.

“The stance of the factory is the same, not to allow their representatives back for employment,” he said.

Chea Mony, president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, of which Morn Channa is a member, said that more than 10 workers were injured by the police actions on Tuesday.

He also said that if the factory continued to deny workers’ demands, it would lose profits as well as the confidence of overseas clients.
“So the factory should find a way to have negotiations with workers so both sides can profit,” he said.

Phnom Penh Municipal police chief Touch Naruth dismissed the SRP’s concerns, saying the party was not considering the issue of “public order”.
Striking workers “threw stones at police”, the strike had blocked the main avenue to Phnom Penh International Airport, he said.

“We must have legal action; Russian Federation Boulevard cannot be allowed to have disorder. If Russian Federation Boulevard is blocked by disorder, it is very bad for us,” he said.

He also denied that any workers had been injured.

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,