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Strike, layoffs at garment factory called off after negotiations

Union rep Soth Chet addresses protesting workers outside the Global Apparels Limited garment factory over the weekend. Photo supplied
Union rep Soth Chet addresses protesting workers outside the Global Apparels Limited garment factory over the weekend. Photo supplied

Strike, layoffs at garment factory called off after negotiations

Following three days of strike action, the majority of the 100 workers recently let go from Malaysian-owned Global Apparels Limited garment factory returned to work on Saturday, after the Ministry of Labour stepped in to mediate the dispute.

On Friday, the workers – who were released after the company decided not to renew their fixed-term contracts – took their protest to the Ministry of Labour, who called a meeting with the factory’s owners and workers representatives, according to a ministry statement.

Eighty-seven workers are to be reinstated as they had been working at the factory for at least two years – the duration at which workers are legally entitled to severance for their services.

“The company and worker representatives agreed with each other over the negotiations at the Ministry of Labour,” the statement reads, adding that “the workers promise to stop protesting and to come back to work on 27 February”.

Furthermore, the company has backed down on its recent announcement that it would be laying off 500 more employees before April, according to the ministry’s statement.

Soth Chet, an official from the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, who attended the ministry’s meeting, said that some workers let go had been at the factory for as long as 10 years. Global Apparels could not be reached yesterday.

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