More than 20 unions and associations gathered in front of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cabinet on Monday to have him force employers to pay seniority payments after the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training announced its postponement.

Cambodian Confederation of Unions (CCU) president Yang Sophorn said the ministry’s decision affected the living conditions of workers challenged with job losses and layoffs.

She said postponing seniority payments was taking a toll on working families.

Sophorn said there is still no solution so therefore the unions were seeking the prime minister’s intervention.

“We insist the prime minister reconsider the workers’ benefit. If he thinks about the worker’s benefits, they will get their benefits back. I believe only the workers can give him power through elections. Therefore we ask that he thinks about the workers,” she said.

Sophorn said many factories have suspended workers and they have received very little subsidies from the government and employers.

She said she expects the Prime Minister will provide a solution because Hun Sen’s office is the last place to seek help.

Kong Chamroeun, an official in charge of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet, told The Post that a working group was reviewing the request and a decision would be announced later.

“They have their right to request and the petition has been submitted to the management already. A decision will be announced tomorrow or the next day, I don’t know. We have an expert team and after review, they will submit [a recommendation] to the leader,” he said.

Ministry spokesman Heng Sour told The Post on Monday that everyone has the right to petition. However, he stressed that proposals must be based on legal standards and the ministry issued its measures to maintain jobs and not impact workers further.

“The ministry’s priority is to maintain the production chain and keep as many jobs as possible to ensure workers do not have zero wages,” he said.

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