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Union wins benefits for garment workers

Hundreds of Asia Dragon garment workers strike outside the factory walls in Takeo province’s Bati district.
Hundreds of Asia Dragon garment workers strike outside the factory walls in Takeo province’s Bati district. PHA LINA

Union wins benefits for garment workers

Most demands made by workers at a Takeo province garment factory were met following a large protest and five hours of negotiation.

Asia Dragon (Garment) Co Ltd mediated with the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), making concessions on most of the workers’ 16 appeals, said Um Visal, C.CAWDU’s legal officer.

“They will go back to work tomorrow because most of the points which they demanded were accepted,” Visal said.

As a result of the negotiations — which took place as about 2,500 workers protested outside the Bati district factory — workers will not be forced to work overtime, will receive $9 per month for transportation and are eligible for a $10 bonus each month for perfect attendance, Visal said. Issues not resolved yesterday, including a lunch allowance, will go before the Arbitration Council, Visal added.

Less fortunate yesterday were employees at Orange Trading Co Ltd in Phnom Penh, who said their company refused to provide advances in workers’ pay before Sunday’s National Assembly election.

A 30-year-old worker at Orange Trading, who asked not to be identified, said company officials told more than 1,000 workers they would not receive the pay advances many required to pay travel expenses to vote in their home provinces.

“I cannot go to vote, because I don’t have money to afford the cost of travelling to vote at my hometown in Prey Veng province,” she said.

Although many are unhappy with the decision, no one dares complain about it, fearing they may lose their jobs, she said.

Orange Trading factory officials could not be reached for comment.

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