Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Workers protest closed factory

Workers protest closed factory

Workers from troubled garment factory First Gawon Apparel listen to Meanchey district authorities Monday afternoon after delivering a petition seeking unpaid wages.
Workers from troubled garment factory First Gawon Apparel listen to Meanchey district authorities Monday afternoon after delivering a petition seeking unpaid wages. Pha Lina

Workers protest closed factory

About100 workers from the seemingly abandoned First Gawon Apparel garment factory marched to Phnom Penh’s Meanchey District Hall on Monday afternoon seeking resolution to a dispute that has dragged on for nearly a year.

Workers say they have not been paid by the Korean-owned company for four months and have been staking out the factory in fears managers will try to remove valuable equipment and machinery that could be sold to pay back wages and severance.

Worker Em Savy said some colleagues had been evicted from their homes because they were unable to pay rent and were now living in front of the factory.

“I don’t have money to pay my kids’ school, and because we’ve been on standby at the factory for more than four months, my husband is suspicious that I’m having an affair with someone now,” Savy said.

During a meeting with the workers, District Governor Pich Keo Mony promised representatives from the Ministry of Labour would pay a visit to the factory on Tuesday to compel owners to pay the workers.

However, Keo Mony also told workers to assign a few representatives to deliver their petitions to relevant organisations instead of marching en masse.

“I heard workers want to march,” Keo Mony said. “Why do you want to do that? I don’t reject the workers’ plan, but we can’t let you march as it will affect the public order and impact traffic.”

Ministry of Labour spokesman Heng Sour and First Gawon factory owner Mercedes Cha could not be reached Wednesday.

Workers plan to deliver petitions to the Council of Ministers, Ministry of Labour, Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, the National Social Security Fund and the South Korean Embassy in Cambodia.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Third Makro outlet planned for capital’s Chroy Changvar

    Makro (Cambodia) Co Ltd is set to invest $12.7 million in its third Cambodian outlet, this time in northeast Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district, an area dotted with high-end residential developments, as shopping behaviours continue to evolve in tandem with economic growth. The Cambodian Investment