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Workers protest for back pay after work stoppage

Workers from RCI garment factory, located in the SSEZ, protest at the provincial labour department yesterday. Photo supplied
Workers from RCI garment factory, located in the SSEZ, protest at the provincial labour department yesterday. Photo supplied

Workers protest for back pay after work stoppage

With their factory’s owner gone and production stopped, some 600 workers protested outside the RCI garment factory in Preah Sihanouk province yesterday saying they hadn’t been paid since May.

An Rama, an official for the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, said production at the facility, which is set up in the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone, stopped abruptly last month, with no announcement of the factory’s closure.

“They [workers] went to the [provincial] labour department seeking help to find a solution after they did not get their salary for May,” Rama added.

Yov Khemara, director of the provincial labour department, said that authorities were looking to find a solution and asked for workers to keep calm.

However, Soung Chantha, a worker at the factory, said she needed a solution quickly as she needed to pay rent, adding that the factory had begun reducing its production activity in late April. “If they’ve closed the factory, they must pay us our severance,” she said.

In a separate protest, 100 workers from Dali Garment International in Kampong Speu’s Samrong Tong district protested the sacking of three union leaders and two workers.

Soy Chanthou, a deputy at the Cambodian Textile & Garment Workers’ Federation, said the five – Noun Sophal, Sok Phouy, Hun Somaly, Dem Deb and Toch Samnang – had been fired without benefits despite having valid contracts.

“It is illegal for them [to be fired]. That is why the workers came out to protest,” Chanthou added.

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