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Workers continue strike at garment factory

Written By vibykhmer on Thursday, August 27, 2009 | 12:28 AM


The Phnom Penh Post
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
Chhay Channyda and Mom Kunthear

THOUSANDS of garment workers from the Sky High garment factory Dangkor district have staged a two-day strike this week to protest poor working conditions and low wages.

Mai Vathana, coordinator for the Khmer Youth Federation of Trade Unions, said Tuesday that around 3,000 workers protested outside the factory on Monday. About 300 returned to work on Tuesday morning, but most resumed their strike.

Workers' grievances included a 1,000-riel reduction of monthly wages, a lack of compensation or assistance for those who lose vehicles on company property, and unpredictable, indefinite work stoppages.

Factory owners "cheat workers", Mai Vathana said, adding that her employers had failed to honour previous agreements including a promise to build a child-care centre on factory grounds.

Khieu Savuth, deputy director of the Department of Labour Disputes at the Ministry of Labour, said Tuesday that his ministry would host a meeting today to mediate the dispute.

"We will try to find a compromise on this issue because we don't want to see this protest happen again and again," he said.

Mai Vathana said that over the two days of the strike, workers had not heard anything from factory owners.

Khieu Savath, however, was hopeful that an agreement could be quickly reached.

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