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Unions agree to negotiate over blaze

Unions agree to negotiate over blaze

UNIONS representing thousands of former garment workers who were left jobless after one of June Textile’s factories burnt down last month have said they will suspend industrial action pending the outcome of compensation talks later this week.

The negotiations follow a protest held at the charred remains of June Textile’s factory in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district, where some 4,000 former employees gathered on Friday.

“We will gather all the workers on Sunday evening to inform them about the negotiations with the factory and government officials from the Ministry of Labour on Wednesday,” Yin Saroeun, president of the Hope Union, said on Friday.

The laid off workers have rejected part of a compensation offer affording them US$20 per worker in seniority bonuses, instead demanding $150, he added. But Meng Try, administrative manager at June Textile, said a $20 seniority bonus was a reasonable offer given that the company had sustained millions of dollars in losses from the fire that broke out at their Tek Thla factory shortly before Khmer New Year.

He said the former employees had also been offered 18 days worth of compensation payments at a rate of $2 a day.

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