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Tack Fat workers set to meet with officials

Tack Fat workers set to meet with officials

A UNION representative from the Tack Fat garment factory said workers and factory management will meet with officials from the Ministry of Social Affairs on Monday to resolve a dispute stemming from the recent closure of the factory.

Some 1,823 garment workers at the Tack Fat factory, in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district, held protests on Thursday morning when the factory closed its doors without informing them in advance.

The owners say the factory will be closed for two months due to declining garment orders and have agreed to pay workers US$10 per month in compensation, but workers say $10 is insufficient to compensate them for lost wages.

“Workers want the factory to pay them 50 percent of their salary if it wishes to suspend their jobs for two months, and we want the factory to be locked properly so that the property cannot be secretly removed before making a clear deal with the workers,” said Meas Saphors, leader of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union at Tack Fat garment factory.

Factory representatives could not be reached for comment on Sunday, but Khieu Savuth, an official from the Office of Labour Disputes at the Ministry of Labour, said workers and factory management would meet on Monday with officials from the Ministry of Social Affairs’ Committee for Dealing with Demonstrations and Strikes.

According a report released by the Ministry of Labour, 130 factories have closed in the first nine months of 2009, resulting in the loss of 30,683 jobs. The ministry also estimates an additional 30,617 workers are also facing unemployment because of a decline in export orders stemming from the global financial downturn.

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