Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Temple workers ‘upset’ with new wage



Temple workers ‘upset’ with new wage

Temple workers ‘upset’ with new wage

More than a hundred workers who had done restoration work at the West Mebon temple in Siem Reap province said they would petition the French Embassy calling for a resumption of the project.

The call was made after the L’Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO) centre, which oversaw the project, announced it had run out of budget and passed the project on to the Apsara Authority, a state body charged with managing the Angkor Archaeological Park.

Chhin Sophal, who had overseen the restoration site since 2012, said financial benefits offered by the Apsara Authority was deemed unacceptable by all the 126 workers.

“We rejected the offer right away. it’s unacceptable. We feel very sad that the state institution cannot offer the same benefits as a foreign organisation,” he said.

Sophal said workers’ monthly wages under EFEO’s oversight ranged from $137 to $370.

He said the workers’ appeal to various institutions had gone unanswered.

“We want a negotiation, but nobody talked with us. We have been complaining to the culture and labour ministries, Unesco and the French embassy since last month, but to no avail,” he said.

“We feel regret. When we first started the project, the temple structure at the bottom was damaged. After six years we have completed nearly 65 per cent of restoration work. I heard from the French technical and architectural team that the restoration would take another five years to finish,” he said.

Apsara Authority spokesman Long Kosal said restoration work at the temple had yet to resume.

He said Apsara could not offer the same benefits.

“I don’t know why they stopped their work before the restoration is finished. We [Apsara Authority] are not responsible for the budget. We may resume the restoration work next year.” he said.

“We care about every worker’s welfare but we cannot offer the same benefits because our [state] budget is limited,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and