Some 100 workers, along with the president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, delivered a letter yesterday to the US Embassy in Phnom Penh asking Americans to boycott clothing made by Tai Yang Enterprises.
Surrounded by protesters, CCU President Rong Chhun said that the group was left with no other choice after authorities failed to find a suitable solution for the employees of the Levi’s and Gap supplier.
“We appeal to all American people to stop buying or using the products or clothes from this factory … [The US government] will not keep quiet, and they will put pressure to this factory,” said Chhun.
Tai Yang workers have been on strike since June 25 over allegations that a change in the company’s name had stripped them of seniority benefits.
Factory manager Wu Minghuor said that Chhun’s actions were more damaging to the livelihoods of those he represented than to Tai Yang’s business.
Most employees had returned to work and those who had not had been sacked, he said.
Meanwhile, more protests continued in and around the capital yesterday.
In Kandal province, workers from the Master & Frank (Cambodia) garment factory continued their strike demanding the reinstatement of the factory’s sacked leader of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union.
Suth Seam, a dispute resolution officer at the C.CAWDU, said that two women were knocked unconscious in a scuffle with guards as workers tried to get into the factory to prevent management from recruiting new workers, but “they were sent to the hospital for help”.
In Phnom Penh, more than 1,000 striking workers from the Golden Gain Shoe Company played drums and carried banners listing their demands. The group threatened to block Russian Boulevard today if their demands aren’t met.
“The workers have planned to march to the National Assembly or block the road in front of the Phnom Penh International Airport tomorrow, but we tried to keep them calm to wait for the resolution from the factory,” said San Sopha, a C.CAWDU official who attended yesterday’s protest.
To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at [email protected]