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19 Mar 2019

Davin Sen, Khmer Times

Cambodia: PM calls on a union leader to stop urging workers to demand indemnity payments; but unions and workers say they demand reinstatement

"Hun Sen raps CLC president over misguided protests", 19 March 2019

Prime Minister Hun Sen ... called on Cambodian Labour Confederation president Ath Thorn to stop encouraging garment workers to protest and demand unreasonable seniority indemnity payments.

..., Mr Hun Sen appealed to Mr Thorn to have workers stop demanding seniority payments be paid in a lump sum rather than in two instalments as provided for by the labour law...

Mr Hun Sen said under the labour law, factories only need to pay workers indemnity payments twice per year...

..., more than 300 W&D Garment Factory workers protested near Mr Hun Sen’s home to demand that the factory reinstate all workers who were sacked after previous protests to demand lump-sum indemnity payments...

Saing Chanry, a workers’ representative who joined the protest, ... appealed to Mr Hun Sen to intervene in the matter.

“We have stopped demanding that indemnity payment be paid in a lump sum and Samdech [Hun Sen] has received unreliable information from subordinates that we are still doing so,” she said.

Ms Chanry said that the workers only want the company to allow all of them back without discrimination.

Mr Thorn ... said more than a thousand W&D workers are still holding occasional protests for the company to take back everyone.

On Mr Hun Sen’s call for him to stop workers from demanding the indemnity payments, he said he thinks that perhaps the Minister of Labour gave a wrong report to the Prime Minister...

The company noted that since December 24, 1,729 workers staged protests, and 814 workers have since returned to work.