Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Stranded workers to pack bags following company agreement

Stranded workers to pack bags following company agreement

Stranded workers to pack bags following company agreement

090512_03b.jpg
090512_03b.jpg

Police say 110 Chinese labourers stuck in Cambodia will receive six

months’ back pay, 500 yuan compensation and a flight back to China

Photo by:

TRACEY SHELTON

Chinese migrant workers protest outside the Chinese embassy last Wednesday.

MORE than 100 Chinese migrant labourers whose employers failed to pay them for six months before stranding them in Cambodia will go home today after successfully  negotiating their return with their company, according to police officials.

Hy Prou, Phnom Penh's deputy police commissioner, said that Canadia Bank, which owns the Tonle Bassac City development project where the workers were employed, has been in negotiations with the Jiangsu Province First Construction Installation Co over the payment of the workers.

The company was contracted by Canadia Bank to work on the Tonle Bassac City project, but the contract was cancelled on April 30 after the company allegedly failed to follow its agreement.   

"This is an issue between the two companies and we have urged them to resolve the problem," Hy Prou said Monday.

"The authorities have asked [the workers] to stay in a group together at their work site in order to maintain order."

Stranded without pay

About 110 construction workers employed by Jiangsu rallied outside the Chinese embassy last Wednesday and Saturday seeking diplomatic intervention  after their employers fled the country, saying it took their passports and did not pay six months' worth of wages.

One security guard fired several shots into the air to disperse the protesters Wednesday as they tried to enter the embassy gate.

A Cambodian police officer who was present at the dispute resolution meeting said that about 70 percent of the workers have agreed to the company's offer to pay them their back salaries and an additional 500 yuan (US$73.20) compensation.

"The company had already bought the air tickets for them," he said. "The company is responsible to pay for them, and I think the remaining workers will also agree to accept this."

Hem Bunny, director of the Department of Employees and Manpower in the Ministry of Labour, said that any company employing foreign workers in Cambodia was required to send a copy of its employees' contract to the ministry, which was then responsible for monitoring their adherence.

"In the case of Jiangsu, the company had not yet registered with the Ministry of Labour," he said, adding that the government was therefore unable to monitor the company's alleged breach of the contract.

Chinese embassy officials declined to comment on the issue Monday.

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