Workers sell machines to cover missing wages

Source : Khmer Times

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The workers sit outside the factory in protest.

More than 700 workers from three factories in Phnom Penh’s Por Senchey district yesterday received part of their missing wages after the owner of the factories disappeared.

The three factories, Yu Fa Garment Industry, Yu Da Garment Industry and S.R.E Garment Company, were owned by a single Chinese businessman who absconded earlier this month, leading to protest by the workers over their missing January wages.

Son Prak, a deputy chief of the Worker Union Federation, said that officials from the Ministry of Labour, union leaders and workers successfully sold assets from two of the factories, earning enough to pay 65 percent of each worker’s missing wages.

He said that some workers got $155 and others $200.

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“The workers got 65 percent of their missing wages,” he said. “But they did not get any severance pay or benefits because the machines sold off could not cover the costs.”

Lok Thy, a worker at Yu Da, said some of the staff were happy to at least get 65 percent, while others remained upset not to get their full dues.

“Most of the workers did not favour the deal, but still accepted the pay because the owner disappeared,” he said.

Tong Tek, chief of administration for S.R.E factory, said workers were within their rights to seize the machines and sell them.

“After negotiating many times, the workers decided to sell the factories’ property, get some money and find another job,” he said.

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