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Workers at shuttered factory protest for pay

An exterior shot of the Shude Garment factory in Kampong Speu province, which shut down without paying its workers their wages for January. Photo supplied
An exterior shot of the Shude Garment factory in Kampong Speu province, which shut down without paying its workers their wages for January. Photo supplied

Workers at shuttered factory protest for pay

Workers from Shude Garment Co, Ltd, protested in front of their factory yesterday in Kampong Speu province’s Chbar Mon town after their employer vanished without paying their January salaries.

“On the day he was supposed to pay our wages, our employer disappeared,” said factory worker Srey Nang.

Factory union representative Kun Sam Oun said the workers were demanding their employer pay them their January wages, adding that if the factory changes management, the union will appeal to the factory’s new owner to retain its current employees. Oun noted that some workers, however, feared for their jobs.

“Our employer escaped instead of showing up to negotiate a solution,” said Sam Oun said. “So today, the workers went on strike and came out to protest in front of the factory.”

Of the more than 700 factory workers who did not receive their salaries, about 300 joined in the protest.

“Some workers stopped working to find new jobs and some workers stayed inside the factory to protect the factory’s property,” Sam Oun said. Company property is often auctioned off to pay back wages.

Ly Sarum, a coordinator for the Cambodia Peaceful Network, a Kampong Speu-based NGO, said that demonstration had been peaceful, adding that workers “need their January wage because they need to support their families”.

Multiple phone numbers associated with Shude went unanswered yesterday.

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