Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Factories file for suspension, 3,000 workers to be affected

Factories file for suspension, 3,000 workers to be affected

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
As many as 200 factories and enterprises may run out of raw materials in March. Hong Menea

Factories file for suspension, 3,000 workers to be affected

At least 10 factories have filed for temporary suspension as the supply of raw materials from China dries up, the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training said on Thursday. This could affect the livelihoods of as many as 3,000 workers.

Speaking during a press conference at the Office of the Council of Ministers, ministry spokesman Heng Sour said 10 factories have already run out of raw materials as suppliers in China have closed due to Covid-19 infections.

He warned that the worst was yet to come.

“In March, we could see as many as 200 factories and enterprises running out of raw materials. The worst-case scenario is that about 160,000 workers will be affected,” Sour said.

The ministry has come up with a scheme that guarantees suspended workers receive at least 60 per cent of the minimum wage.

As per the scheme, employers are required to pay suspended workers 40 per cent of the minimum wage, with the remaining 20 per cent shouldered by the government.

Besides, the ministry has prepared a series of trainings to help suspended workers access new work opportunities.

“The government is making every effort to restore relations with buyers, factories and other governments.

“We are working to end the shortage of raw materials as quickly as possible, including by negotiating with China so that it gives priority to Cambodia in the supply of raw materials,” Sour said.

He said the production standstill in China is affecting supply chains around the world, particularly in Asia. He pointed out that many factories in South Korea were suspending operations because of a shortage of raw materials.

Sour expressed hope that Cambodia would be first in line once raw material supplies are restored.

Cambodian Labour Confederation president Ath Thorn lauded the government’s strategy to deal with laid-off workers but questioned whether enough had been done to protect their livelihoods.

“I think the scheme will support workers but only in the short-term. But what would happen if the shortages last longer than expected? We cannot expect factories to continue paying 40 per cent of the minimum wage indefinitely if they are not open.

“I want to see more concrete policies to help the workers,” Thorn said.

There are 14,060 enterprises registered with the ministry. Together, they employ over 1.43 million people. Around 1,200 of those enterprises are garment factories.

Mai Chan, a factory worker from Kandal province, told The Post on Thursday that he was worried about his future. The government’s scheme is helpful but may be insufficient for many workers who have to repay loans taken out with microfinance institutions.

“I would like to ask Samdech Hun Sen to find a solution so that production in Cambodia continues as normal. Many workers are very indebted. Our only hope is to ask Samdech for help,” he said.

Watch video:

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the green light for anyone who contracts the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutation or any other variant to convalesce or receive treatment at home or in any other reasonable non-healthcare setting. The new decision supersedes a restriction on home care for

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa