Mediators take on factory dispute

Source: Khmer Times

Staff are unhappy about unexpected changes to their annual leave policies. Supplied

The Kampong Cham provincial labour department will mediate a meeting today between disgruntled footwear factory workers and their employer following a weekend of protests by nearly 6,000 staff who say the factory’s new policies are unfair.

Thousands of workers from the Carlington company factory

in Cheung Prey district held protests against the factory’s new annual leave policies on Friday and Saturday.

The workers are unhappy about a shift in the policies, which now state that sick days and personal leave days will count against their 18 days of annual leave.

Cheng Heang, director of the provincial labour department, said the change in policy came after the hiring of a new factory manager.

“The company changed to a new manager who released new policies,” he said. “The workers and the new manager do not yet understand each other. The workers are not satisfied with the new policies and want the old ones back.”

One worker, who declined to be named out of fear of retribution from her employer, said that the new policies were not discussed before being implemented.

“The company did not have a meeting with us,” the worker said. “They just released these new rules without discussion. Now it is so strict.”

According to a June 21 press release from Carlington, the new policies also include changes to how much time workers must give the company prior to taking leave, as well as now requiring workers to thumbprint a sign-in sheet when they arrive and leave work.

Mr Heang said he hoped to find a solution to the disagreement during today’s meeting.

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