Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Unions divided over clash

Unions divided over clash

Unions divided over clash

5 Sabrina garment factory

The president of the Free Trade Union has threatened to order a large strike if eight FTU members arrested on Monday during violent clashes at the ongoing Sabrina Garment factory strike are not released.

Chea Mony said yesterday that members of rival union the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), who remained working at the Kampong Speu factory during protests, were responsible for violence that resulted in injuries on all sides.

“I want to tell [the police] that if they do not release my members … we all will join together to demand their release, because they did not do anything wrong. It is unfair,” he said.

The demonstrations at the Nike supplier turned violent for the second time in two weeks when protesters entered the factory on Monday and exchanged volleys of sticks and stones with employees still at work.

Mony said protesters were entering the factory to discuss their demands with the company when they were targeted.

“The company cooperated with a group of C.CAWDU members and used stones, sticks and fire hoses to attack the protesters,” he said.

“I think the company and C.CAWDU organised this violence . . . Why did the police not arrest the members of C.CAWDU?”

Um Visal, a legal officer at C.CAWDU, denied the accusations yesterday.

“It is wrong, and we cannot accept what they said. We were not involved in the violence. I know who is right and who is wrong because I was also there,” he said.

A C.CAWDU protester, who declined give her name out of safety concerns, said she did not want to see innocent FTU members arrested. “I entered the factory to ask [workers] to join the protest with us, but a few of the C.CAWDU members used strong objects to hit us and caused the outbreak of violence,” she told the Post.

“The police should arrest the culprits, who are members of the C.CAWDU.”

The Sabrina garment factory owner filed a lawsuit yesterday with provincial police against the FTU demanding $160,000 in compensation for property damaged by protesters, local police officials said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Reuters: US Embassy fired 32 staff members for sharing pornography

    The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh has fired 32 non-diplomatic staff members who were allegedly caught exchanging pornographic images and video, including of minors, according to the news agency Reuters. Four sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the content was shared in

  • Our 2018 guide to spending Khmer New Year in Phnom Penh

    Khmer New Year festivities are upon us. For the next few days, travellers will be making their way to their home provinces to eat, celebrate, play traditional games and visit a pagoda with offerings. If you will be staying put in Phnom Penh for the

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the