More than 400 workers at the South Korean-owned Dae Kwang Garment factory protested at the Canadia Industrial Park yesterday demanding unpaid salaries after the factory’s owner disappeared.
Having not been paid since March, the workers at the garment factory in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district first protested before Khmer New Year.
“They needed money for the New Year,” said Chum Bit, deputy president at Worker for Peace Union Federation. “They have rushed back [after the holiday] to protest again.”
An administrative officer at the factory, who requested to remain anonymous, confirmed that the factory’s owner had left without any notice and that workers were unpaid since March, adding that the factory had seen a decline in orders since the beginning of this year.
“When it came time to pay salaries, the employer ran away,” he said. “But now this case has been sent to Ministry of Labour to find a solution.”
Ken Loo, secretary-general for the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, said the factory was a member of the association, and while he was aware the owner had disappeared, he did not know why.
“But when it comes down to it, the only reason an owner will abandon the company is because it is losing money,” he said.
He added that the next step would involve dissolving the factory’s assets to pay off creditors and workers.
Additional reporting by Ananth Baliga