Thursday, December 1, 2011

Strikers ordered back to work

Garment workers from the Cambo Handsome 1 factory strike in Phnom Penh yesterday. (Photo by: Mai Vireak)

Thursday, 01 December 2011
Tep Nimol and Vincent MacIsaac
The Phnom Penh Post

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court ordered on Tuesday that workers striking at Cambo Handsome 1 return to work within 48 hours and banned them from striking in front of the garment factory, in the capital’s Dankgor district.

Seang Sambath, president of the Federation of Friendship Unions, said nearly 1,000 workers continued their strike yesterday as mediators from the labour ministry continued to attempt to negotiate a settlement between the two sides. The workers heard about the court order yesterday, he said.

Kim Young Woo, co-ordinator for corporate social responsibility at Hansoll Textile, Cambo Handsome’s parent company in Korea, said late on Tuesday the company had received a letter from the court that day ordering workers to end their strike and return to work.

Seang Sambath said most workers would continue to strike today, despite the court order to return to work.

Garment maker Von Samen said workers would “absolutely refuse” to return to the factory until their five demands had been met.

These included the withdrawal of a theft charge against a union leader and his suspension from the factory, along with the suspension of two other union leaders, and the replacement of security guards at the factory.

Workers and union leaders have alleged a security guard placed two Gap T-shirts under the seat of union leader Van Rim’s motorbike, which led to him being charged with theft.

Hout Sok, a legal officer at the factory, said the company was in compliance with the law.

He put the number of workers on strike at “a few hundred”, but agreed with union leaders that negotiations had failed to reach an agreement.


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