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

  • WHO: Covid in Cambodia goes into new phase

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia said that Cambodia has reached a new phase of the pandemic with “decreasing case numbers, high vaccination coverage and a more transmissible circulating variant threatening a hidden surge”. In a press release on September 6, the WHO said that

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • International air visitor arrivals dip 93%

    The number of foreign tourists entering Cambodia through the Kingdom’s three international airports witnessed a sharp 92.5 per cent year-on-year decline in the first seven months of this year, according to the Ministry of Tourism. The airports handled 51,729 international tourists in the January-July period versus

  • School reopening ‘offers model for other sectors’

    World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Cambodia Li Ailan said school reopening process should be used as a role model for reopening other sectors currently mothballed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Li strongly supports the government’s decision to reopen schools, saying it is a decision

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in