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7 May 2020

Davin Sen, Khmer Times

Cambodia: A garment factory suspends its operations and lays off nearly 2,000 workers due to COVID-19 pandemic as orders dry up

"Factory furloughs nearly 2,000 workers amid coronavirus", 07 May 2020

Nearly 2,000 garment workers are now in limbo after their employer You Li International Garment Co Ltd in Svay Rieng province’s Bavet city announced a suspension of operations as clothing orders dry up amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Pum Sokunthy, an officer of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, said ... the company decided to temporarily halt its operations from May 1 to June 30.

“The workers will receive compensation from the government and the company. In the meantime, they will be faced with difficulties as they try to get by day by day,” said Mr Sokunthy.

Chan San, a worker from the garment factory, said ... since early April, the company has had fewer job for the workers due to a lack of orders.

“We depend on our wages to support our daily needs. Now that the company has announced to suspend operations, we do not know what will happen to us in the next two months,” he said...

On Labour Day, union groups, representing more than 100,000 workers from eight sectors, sent a petition to Prime Minister Hun Sen to ask a guarantee in payment of compensation and other benefits for suspended workers.

The unions said the government should increase compensation for suspended workers, with 20 percent of their wages coming from the government and 40 percent from their respective employers.

... The unions also suggested the government increase the minimum wage from $190 to $250 for garment workers and enforce fixed wages to workers in the construction, tourist, services, transportation and other sectors.