Arbitration Council to settle Ghim Li factory dispute

Source : Khmer Times

An official from the Arbitration Council speaks with the protesting workers on Friday. KT/Chor Sokunthea

After garment workers from the Ghim Li factory were blocked by authorities from protesting at the National Assembly on Friday, a factory representative said yesterday that compensation will be provided to workers who were transferred to work at GG Fashion, its new facility.

Thousands of former Ghim Li factory workers attempted to march to the National Assembly on Friday, upset that they were not compensated for being transferred to another factory.

Dy Syladeth, a representative of Ghim Li which has closed operations, said yesterday that the workers were not laid off. Mr Syladeth said that they were transferred to another factory owned by the same company.

“The company does not want workers to lose their jobs, that’s why we provided work for them at a different factory,” Mr Syladeth said. “We gave them some compensation, but they’re not satisfied, and that’s how the problem started.”

He added that the Arbitration Council will provide a solution for the workers on Thursday.

“We don’t understand because some workers took the money from the company, but they protested anyway,” he said. “Regardless, the Arbitration Council will have a solution on Thursday.”

Chey Sopha, a former Ghim Li employee, said yesterday that thousands of workers were laid off after their factory closed and were transferred to another factory without compensation. Their plan on Friday was to travel to the National Assembly and rally for their missing wages.

Authorities block the workers’ path on the road. KT/Chor Sokunthea

“Ghim Li closed down and opened in a new location with a new name,” Ms Sopha said. “They did not compensate us for missing wages when they closed.”

Another former employee said that the problem has been ongoing for the last two months without any solution from the Labour Ministry.

“We travelled from Por Senchey district, but half way to the National Assembly, we were blocked by the authorities,” the worker said. “Now we do not have any money to spend.”

Tuol Kork district Governor Ek Khun Doeun said yesterday that the workers were blocked because they disrupted traffic.

“The authorities prevented them from travelling and gathering on the road,” Mr Khun Doeun said. “We suggested that they stop and find a solution with the Labour Ministry.”

Over the last few months, the government has urged companies to settle disputes with their workers.

Last month, Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the government spent $22 million on missing wages for factory workers.

Mr Hun Sen said that the government has also forced factory owners to pay indemnity in order to avoid problems should they flee.



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