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Unionists support striking workers

Unionists support striking workers

UNION leaders yesterday lent their support to employees of local construction firm KC Gecin Enterprises, who extended their strike outside the company’s office in Meanchey district into a fourth day.

The workers went on strike Monday after the firm allegedly dismissed 60 employees last week for attempting to form a trade union.

At yesterday’s protest, the sacked workers burned offerings and beat drums outside the office, demanding the reinstatement of the workers.

Chea Sokyeab, 28, one of those who took part, said the workers would strike until the factory management responded to their requests.

“We will not give up the protest if there is no solution,” he said.

Ath Thon, president of the Cambodian Labour Confederation, who joined the protest yesterday, encouraged the workers to maintain their strike until they had a satisfactory solution from the management.

Other union bodies, including the Cambodia Labour Committee and Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association, or IDEA, also arrived to show their support for the workers.

Vorn Pao, the head of IDEA, said the company’s actions were illegal and disregarded the rights of the workers.

“The company does not understand the importance of the workers and looks down on their attempts to help find benefits for the company,” he said.

Nou Nim, director of the municipal Department of Labour and Vocational Training, said the two sides were at a stalemate, with the workers demanding a return to their jobs and the company saying there were not enough jobs for all the sacked employees.

“This conflict is beyond the authority’s ability to solve, and I have sent the case to the Arbitration Council through the Ministry of Labour,” he said, referring to the Kingdom’s main labour disputes body.

Representatives of KC Gecin declined to comment.

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