Workers at Box Factory March for Wage Raise

About 20 workers at a factory that makes cardboard boxes marched to the Japanese Embassy on Wednesday to ask for support in their efforts to secure seniority wages.

The Harta Packaging factory opened in 2004 under Malaysian ownership, but was purchased by a Japanese businessman in 2012.

Workers at the factory went on strike in February demanding seniority wages, retroactive to 2004.

After a six-day strike was ended by a court injunction ordering the employees to return to work, the factory fired 285 workers, according to worker representatives.

“We had waited a long time before we decided to go on strike because we saw that the Japanese owners did not care for us,” said Hong Nang, a 28-year-old who said she has worked for the factory for 10 years.

Puth Sovann, president of the Trade Union Federation for Workers, said the workers followed the court injunction, and blamed the factory for pushing the workers to take further industrial action.

“The workers went back to work after the injunction issued by the court,” he said. “Why did they have to fire them? It is not right to stop any workers when they protest or strike.”

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