Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Workers protest over ‘RCAF’ factory guards

Workers protest over ‘RCAF’ factory guards

Workers stand outside the Pou Yuen shoe factory in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district, where they claim hired guards (centre, black jacket) prevented them from entering the premises. Photo supplied
Workers stand outside the Pou Yuen shoe factory in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district, where they claim hired guards (centre, black jacket) prevented them from entering the premises. Photo supplied

Workers protest over ‘RCAF’ factory guards

Roughly 100 garment workers protested again in front of Pou Yuen Enterprise Ltd yesterday amid allegations that the shoe factory hired Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) soldiers to act as security guards for the company.

The workers have been in conflict with the shoe factory since at least October over the company’s decision to offer only short-term contracts.

One uniformed soldier could be seen sitting in the company security booth at the protest yesterday, but disappeared shortly after reporters arrived.

Police are also investigating a confrontation between factory security guards and workers last Thursday in which one guard allegedly threatened workers with a gun.

Despite pictures of the man’s RCAF motorcycle licence plate and passport identifying him as a soldier being broadcast on local media outlets, Toek Thla Commune Police Chief Sok Phal said police are still unsure whether the man was a soldier because he fled the scene.

“I do not know [if he’s a soldier] because the factory has hired security for themselves. We do not know where they are from,” Phal said.

“He had not fired the gun yet,” he added. “The workers just saw the weapon and got scared.”

Reached yesterday, Pou Yuen Enterprise representative Hsiao Tsai Yuan denied that the factory had hired soldiers for security. When asked why they were present at the protest, he said he was busy and declined to comment further.

Factory worker In Ham, 33, said the security guards had been rough with protesters. “When they hire soldiers like this, it makes it difficult for us,” Ham said. “We find it hard to protest.”

Ham, who has worked at the factory for seven years, said workers would continue to demonstrate until they received “proper compensation”.

The Arbitration Council is expected to hand down a decision on the dispute on Thursday.

Additional reporting by Daphne Chen

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom’s domestic milk still cannot compete with imports

    Price competition and a lack of confidence by consumers are the main reasons the dairy market cannot compete with imports, said domestic milk producers. The large displays of imported fresh milk at the Kingdom’s supermarkets present a cumbersome obstacle for local producers, they said.

  • Forest Harmony’s $18M luxury villas break ground in Kampot

    Local and French joint-venture Forest Harmony has broken ground on its $18 million “second-home” Luxury Holiday Villas project in Kampot province. Century 21 Mekong CEO and local shareholder of the project Chrek Soknim told The Post that the project will comprise 90 villa units covering 18ha on a 97

  • US, Cambodia pledge to strengthen military ties

    The US on Tuesday pledged to help train military officers, particularly Cambodia’s blue helmet troops deployed for UN’s peacekeeping operations. The pledge was made during a meeting between US ambassador Patrick Murphy and Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) commander-in-chief General Vong Pisen. Further

  • Sokha treason case to go to trial after probe concludes

    The investigation into the charge of treason against Kem Sokha, the former president of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party, has concluded, with the case sent for trial. The Phnom Penh Municipal Court is yet to announce a date for the hearing. “An investigating

  • Sokha lodges an appeal over treason case reaching court

    Kem Sokha, the president of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has appealed against the decision to send his treason case to trial. Sokha’s legal team said their client was not satisfied with the decision of a Phnom Penh Municipal Court investigating

  • EU ambassador expresses hope for Kingdom retaining EBA status

    New EU ambassador to Cambodia Carmen Moreno met with National Assembly president Heng Samrin and expressed her interest in helping Cambodia retain the “Everything But Arms” (EBA) agreement. Moreno paid a courtesy call on Samrin at the National Assembly on Tuesday on her first day