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Article

31 May 2021

Author:
Long Kimmarita, The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia: About 2,000 workers block streets in protests against factories to demand COVID-19 diagnose tests and 50% wages during quarantine periods

"Protests erupt among factory workers demanding Covid tests", 31 May 2021

Medical workers have taken throat swabs to check for infections in more than 2,000 factory workers in Kampong Cham province’s Cheung Prey district after they gathered to block National Road 6 in protest ....

The protest erupted after they had received information that five to six workers from two factories – Hwa Long Co Ltd and Out Sold Industry Co Ltd – in Phdav Chum commune’s Chheu Teal village had tested positive for Covid-19 and were admitted to the Kampong Cham provincial hospital.

Cheng Heang, director of the provincial Department of Labour and Vocational Training, told … that more than 300 workers staged the protest to demand the factories to take samples from all workers due to their concerns about the spread of Covid-19 at the factories.

They also demanded that the factories pay them 50 per cent of their wages while they are kept in quarantine for 14 days…

The owners also granted the workers’ request for 50 per cent of their wages during their 14-day quarantine…

Cambodian Labour Confederation president Ath Thon said that protesting was well within the rights of the workers and the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training had issued a formal letter holding the factories accountable for their wages during quarantine.

He added that the workers’ demand to test them for Covid-19 was correct because they were concerned about their safety. The tests were the only way to resolve their concerns completely.

“The labour and health ministries had issued separate letters and the companies should implement them. But as far as I know, a few companies haven’t implemented it, leading some workers to protest…

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