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Cambodia: Garment workers at W&D factory refuse to return to work with concerns over pressure despite govt. mediation efforts

Author: Long Kimmarita, The Phnom Penh Post, Published on: 16 January 2019

"W&D workers refuse to return to work", 16 January 2019

Over 1,000 garment workers from the W&D factory did not return to work on Monday despite government mediation attempts. They said they remained concerned over pressure from the factory management and their colleagues being fired…

Bun Samnal, who is among the fired garment workers, told … that he would not be able to return to work.

He said after several meetings … over the issue of seniority indemnity, a number of garment workers, including him, were blacklisted for allegedly inciting other workers to protest.

“They asked us to provide thumbprints, but then they said they will only take back young people. They did not rehire some senior male workers, pregnant women and older people."

“… the factory issued a list of nearly 100 workers who have been sacked. My name was included and I cannot accept it. They let other workers go back to work but did not take several of us back,” Samnal stressed…

W&D factory worker Sam Srey Mom said she did not agree to return to work because the factory had sacked several of her co-workers…

W&D factory administration head Meas Saret told … that 600 of the striking workers had returned to work, while 1,000 refused. He said it was the workers’ right whether to return or not, but …

Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training spokesman Heng Sour told … that the factory agreed to accept returning workers on Saturday. He said all workers had been rehired except 10, who were sacked due to evidence of incitement.

“The law will protect workers who abide by it, but people who have the intention of violating the law should worry."…

The Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union president, Ath Thorn, said the workers did not return because they were worried that the factory might pressure them…

Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia Deputy Secretary-General Kaing Monika told … that unions had misled workers, inciting them to protest using misinformation…

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Related companies: Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia Marks & Spencer W & D (Cambodia)