Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Workers to get back pay before election

Workers to get back pay before election

Workers to get back pay before election

Social Affairs Ministry officials yesterday promised that about 750 workers from the shuttered Pine Great garment factory will receive their overdue salaries before the election.

The workers have been demanding their remaining wages and benefits since April, when the owner of the Meanchey district factory fled the country. In May, factory officials promised to pay the workers, but when workers arrived at the factory they found some of its equipment gone along with the officials.

Yesterday Touch Somuth, a member of the Social Affairs Ministry committee formed to resolve the issue, said the committee was “meeting with the workers so they can check their wage slips and thumbprint them if they agree our calculation is right”.

The committee was collecting the factory’s remaining equipment to sell in order to pay the workers, he said.

When asked if the announcement was intended to garner government support before the elections, Somuth said only that the workers would be paid even if the committee did not manage to do so by the election.

Worker Sam Sophorn, 38, said yesterday that she was thrilled by the news.

“We will get our money soon,” she said, adding that she was owed between $600 and $700 and needed the money to return home to vote.

Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said it was likely that the government had promised to pay the workers both to prevent protests and disorder ahead of the elections and to sway workers in favour of the ruling party.

“The CPP realises now that the workers are important voters,” he said, noting the large pro-CPP garment workers’ rally attended by Social Affairs Minister Ith Sam Heng in Phnom Penh yesterday and the government’s decision to erect a statue of slain unionist Chea Vichea.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JUSTINE DRENNAN

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Cambodian women diving deep, going far

    There is a saying in Khmer that “women cannot dive deep or go far”. The meaning is that women should not stray too far from their traditional gender roles. But when Menno de Block, an entrepreneur from the Netherlands, took a good look around his