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Workers at shoe factory pledge to extend protest against firings

Workers at shoe factory pledge to extend protest against firings

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Workers at a shoe factory in Phnom Penh’s Choam Chao district protest the recent firings of three union leaders on Wednesday.

ANGRY garment workers on Wednesday vowed to extend their protest against the firings of three union leaders into a second week if factory owners refused to rehire the sacked workers and allow staff to form a new union.

Around 900 workers from the Tage Shoes factory in Phnom Penh’s Choam Chao district began the protest in front of the factory last Friday, and a spokeswoman for the protesters said Wednesday that they would relocate to outside Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house in Takhmao next week if factory owners don’t back down.

“We are waiting for a resolution from the factory owner. If we cannot find a peaceful resolution, we will protest in front of the prime minister’s house for a government intervention,” Sem Vuthy said.

“The factory owner violated 30 articles of Labour Law, and we cannot accept that,” she added.

“Our factories had a union company that served the factory owner rather than the workers, but when we tried to create a new union, the factory owner fired three of the leaders.”

One of the fired union leaders, Svay Phorn Sipha, said, “They fired us only because factory workers want to establish a new union.”

Company officials could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

La Luy, director of the labour disputes office at the Ministry of Labour, said he had tried to convene a meeting for workers’ representatives and the factory owners, but had been unable to get the factory owners to attend.

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