One Factory Strike Ends, Another Continues

Management at the Ocean Garment factory in Phnom Penh, which has temporarily suspended operations due to a lack of orders, said they are awaiting a Ministry of Labor decision on how much they need to pay workers as about 1,000 employees continued to protest outside the Pur Senchey factory Thursday, demanding at least 50 percent of their monthly pay.

Currently, the factory is offering just $15 per month until production resumes.

“We had to suspend [production] from May 26 to June 26 since there were no orders from buyers, including Gap,” Chin Sophat, an administrator from the factory said Thursdy, adding that he didn’t know why the orders had diminished.

“The issue is being discussed…and we are waiting for the Ministry of Labor to decide how much to pay them during the suspension,” he said.

Huon Vanna, a representative from the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, said talks will also be held among the workers to decide what action to take if their demands are not met.

In a separate case, about 800 employees returned to work at the Taiwanese-owned Long Bright electronics factory in Svay Rieng province Thursday after factory owners offered to extend their contracts by three months, a union representative and police officer said.

The workers had been striking since Tuesday after five union representatives were dismissed without explanation. All but about 60 workers returned to the factory Thursday, according to Hun Savoan, Bavet City police chief.

Meas Sokna, a representative of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers at Long Bright, said that Bavet City authorities used loudspeakers to tell workers to return to their stations.

“It is like forcing workers to work, because they are scared of the authorities.”

(Additional reporting by George Wright)

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