Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - W&D meeting fails to resolve dispute

W&D meeting fails to resolve dispute

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
W&D Cambodia garment factory workers hold a sign near Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house calling on the premier to resolve their three month labour dispute with the company. Heng Chivoan

W&D meeting fails to resolve dispute

A meeting supervised by the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training between representatives of the W&D Cambodia garment factory and around 1,000 sacked workers failed to find a resolution to end the three-month labour dispute on Tuesday, said Hem Hoeurn, a senior ministry official.

The workers’ representatives demanded factory owners unconditionally reinstate the fired staff to their previous positions, Hoeurn told The Post, while the owners cited legal frameworks and accused the workers of not following the Arbitration Council’s orders and ultimately those of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

They said the company would enforce the decision of the court.

“Because both parties held tight to their positions during negotiations, the meeting ended without an agreement. That was very unfortunate. Regardless of the result, the ministry will try to smooth progress on the issue and find a resolution to the labour dispute,” Hoeurn said.

No seniority indemnity

Saing Chanry, one of six workers’ representatives permitted at the meeting, told The Post afterwards that agents for the factory did not regard them as true representatives of the workers.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
More than 100 of the 1,104 sacked factory workers have continued to protest demanding their jobs back. Heng Chivoan

“The factory said we [representatives] had incited [the workers] to participate in the protests, even though this is untrue. All of us were workers, there was no one then acting as a representative. At our previous demonstration, we demanded the factory give us seniority indemnity.

“However, after listening to explanations from experts from the Ministry of Labour and the Arbitration Council, we only want the factory to rehire us without any conditions or discrimination,” Chanry said.

She said more than 100 of the 1,104 fired factory workers have continued to protest in front of the factory demanding their jobs back.

W&D Cambodia lawyer Taing Meng told The Post on Tuesday that he had tried to inform workers not to demand anything outside the confines of the law.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

“We tried to remind them and explain to them that the factory follows the law, and any demands that the law does not permit cannot be granted because the factory follows and adheres to Cambodian laws,” he said.

The dispute between W&D Cambodia and its workers initially began on December 24, after a protest in which workers demanded they be paid seniority indemnity and other benefits.

However, the factory rejected their demands, claiming they were contradictory to Ministry of Labour Directive 443, dated September 21 last year, which requires companies pay seniority indemnity twice per year, in June and December.


  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Hun Sen: Lakes filled in for national developments

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced continued operations to fill some lakes in Phnom Penh to create land for developments, though he is against the unrelated practice of damming rivers or blocking waterways. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

  • Koh Preus upgrades 70% complete

    Initial construction of a nearly $30 million tourism infrastructure project on Preah Sihanouk province’s Koh Preus Island is “about 70 per cent complete”, according to an official with the developer. Heng Thou, construction site manager of Angela Real Estate Co Ltd (ARE), told The Post that

  • Local media loses a giant, and The Post a great friend

    Cheang Sokha, a gifted and streetwise reporter who rose to the highest ranks of Cambodian media and was beloved for his sharp intelligence, world-class humour and endless generosity, died on Friday in his hometown of Phnom Penh. He was 42. His wife, Sok Sophorn, said he