Former employees of waste collection company Cintri (Cambodia) Ltd on Monday accepted a compensation deal offered by Phnom Penh authorities. The agreement ends a series of protests that have forced the closure of sections of Monivong Boulevard.
More than 100 ex-Cintri employees agreed to the compensation package offered by Phnom Penh Municipal Hall, consisting of an undisclosed amount in severance pay and the promise of work at the upcoming Phnom Penh Autonomous Authority.
Nhor Buntha, a representative of the employees, told The Post that the severance pay is to be disbursed in two instalments. The first payment was made this month and the second will be paid in March.
The employees were dismissed on December 30 after Cintri, which for 18 years was the only waste management company operating in the capital, lost its licence. Phnom Penh Municipal Hall is now temporarily managing waste collection in the capital until new contractors are found.
“I thank the Phnom Penh municipal authorities for helping us. Without their intervention, we wouldn’t have reached an agreement,” Buntha said.
He said the Phnom Penh Municipal Hall told the employees that they could begin work at Phnom Penh Autonomous Authority as soon as it begins operations “in the near future”.
“The Phnom Penh administration told us that we have to wait because the Phnom Penh Autonomous Authority is not operational yet.
“Now, we need to stand our ground and demand the 50 per cent of compensation that’s left and also that we are allowed to join the Phnom Penh Autonomous Authority as promised,” he said.
Asked how much compensation the employees will receive, Phnom Penh Municipal Hall spokesman Met Meas Pheakdey told The Post on Thursday that he can’t reveal exact figures, but that it is an amount that satisfied the employees.
“The dispute has been resolved. The employees are satisfied and have accepted the offer,” he said.
Centre for Alliance of Labour and Human Rights executive director Moeun Tola congratulated the authorities for finding a solution to the dispute but questioned the deal’s legality.
“According to the law, the compensation money must be paid in full within 48 hours. It cannot be paid over an extended period. But, if the employees agreed to it, then it’s ok,” he said.