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Workers on strike, plan to ask PM for solution

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Hundreds of workers from Prestige Garment Co Ltd in Kandal province’s Kandal Stung district protested in front of Ministry of Labour yesterday. Hong Menea

Workers on strike, plan to ask PM for solution

Hundreds of workers from Prestige Garment Co Ltd in Kandal province’s Kandal Stung district are on strike and said they will petition Prime Minister Hun Sen to intervene after negotiations failed to reinstate their sacked representative who stands accused of intending to form a trade union.

Workers representative Huon Sovith said despite the result of the Wednesday meeting concerning his employment status with the factory owner, the latter agreed to a number of demands.

“The factory agreed to register as a member of the National Social Security Fund [NSSF]. They also agreed to stop forcing employees to work before their shift starts and to facilitate leave requests,” Sovith said.

The factory will only deduct $3, where previously it was more, from the workers’ wage for each day they are on leave, he continued.

Moreover, the factory agreed to remove lunch and dinner allowances of each day, in case of leave, as opposed to 15 days previously.

Sovith said some workers will not go back to work and that they would march to the prime minister’s house on Thursday.

“I hope some of the workers still want me to get my job back. We will petition Samdech’s [Hun Sen] house. I think the factory discriminated against me because I dared to speak against the factory who exploits the workers,” he said.

Referring to the Wednesday meeting, Kandal provincial labour department Thul Neang said: “We tried our best to negotiate with both sides, but the two could not find common ground.

“In the end, the workers’ representative walked away from the negotiation table. I will send the case to the Arbitration Council to seek solutions. The contentious point was the factory’s reluctance to reinstate the representative.”

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