Other sectors want PM’s help

Source: Khmer Times

Construction workers want more on-job protection ordered by Mr Hun Sen after he made a slew of promises to garment workers. KT/Mai Vireak

Prime Minister Hun Sen met garment workers again at Koh Pich yesterday, handing out more benefits to them while workers from other sectors urged him to also meet with them.

Mr Hun Sen told more than 4,000 garment workers that from September 1, the price of water for workers who stayed at rented rooms and houses would drop from 1,200 riel (about $0.27) per cubic metre to 800 riel.

He said the cost of electricity for workers in rented rooms would stay at 450 riel for a kilowatt hour.

The new water fee would affect 5,119 houses, the equivalent of 120,787 rooms, in Phnom Penh and Kandal province, he said.

He added that in 1997, Cambodia had only 64 factories but now there were 1,127 factories providing jobs to more than one million people.

He then took aim at people he said were calling for action against Cambodia.

“While the government is trying to take care of the workers, some groups are calling on the international community to take action on three points: do not be a donor to Cambodia, don’t invest in Cambodia, don’t buy goods from Cambodia.”

On Friday, Land Management Minister Chea Sophara wrote to all his departments in towns and provinces to inspect all factories to suggest the companies build clinics in the factories to make it easy for injured workers to get treatment.

On Sunday of last week, Mr Hun Sen also spoke to garment workers on Koh Pich and said all workers would get free bus services for two years.

In 2019, workers would get retirement benefits. From 2018, all workers will get free hospital care, and factories must have clinics for workers. Pregnant workers would get a three-month break at 120 percent of their salary.

Meanwhile, the Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia wrote to Mr Hun Sen to suggest he meet workers in the industry because they need the government to take care and provide benefits for them, too.

The letter said workers from those sectors had many difficulties such as not having a minimum wage. They did not have enough safety protection and still did not get benefits from the National Social Security Fund.

Federation president Sok Kin said there were probably 190,000 to 200,000 workers in the building and wood sectors.

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