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Workers fear factory closure

Workers fear factory closure

REPRESENTATIVES of about 1,000 factory workers at a garment factory in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district said yesterday that the owner had continued moving equipment out of their workplace this week, leading them to doubt promises that the business would remain open.

The Ministry of Labour convened a meeting on Thursday of last week in an attempt to resolve a lingering dispute between the workers and management of at PCCS Garments Ltd.

The meeting was called in response to a December 11 complaint filed by worker

representatives, who had become concerned that the factory might be closed down after orders began drying up, production at the factory became irregular and equipment was shipped out.

Workers demanded that in the event of a closure the factory management offer benefits they claim they are entitled to under the Kingdom’s Labour Law.

Tep Somaly, a representative of the workers, said yesterday that company representatives had promised during last week’s meeting that the factory would not be closed. He said, however, that workers were still concerned the owner might close the factory “without paying them compensation”.

Huon Sophorn, another representative, said “most” of the sewing and ironing machines had been removed from the factory.

PCCS representative You Meng Try said yesterday that there were no immediate plans to close the factory. He said it was “normal” for factories to get rid of old equipment.

Prum Veasna, deputy director of the Labour Ministry’s Department of Labour Disputes, said the case had been referred to the Arbitration Council after participants at last week’s meeting failed to reach an agreement.

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