Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Workers protest over pay

Workers protest over pay

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Construction workers protest in Sihanoukville over pay. FACEBOOK

Workers protest over pay

More than 30 construction workers representing over 100 workers in total, including Cambodian and Chinese nationals, protested on Monday to demand that the owner of a 22-storey building in Sihanoukville’s Commune III pay them four month’s salary amounting to more than $100,000. The owner had promised to pay them on April 12.

Kea Sreykum, who represented all the workers and also a Chinese language interpreter, told The Post that Cambodian and Chinese workers who are tile-layers, builders and painters had worked at the building from December until mid-March.

During their employment, the Chinese employer did not pay them their full salaries and promised to do so when the work was complete. He had only paid them money for food.

“It has been a long time that he had not paid us our salaries. We were only given money for food. Some workers have gone back home. The employer still said they would have to wait until we protested, and now he said he will pay,” Sreykum said.

Meach Nary, a construction worker from Siem Reap province said he had run out of money to buy food because the building’s owner refused to pay him for months. When he did not receive his salary, his family didn’t have money to provide for their livelihood.

“I have long done this work, perhaps six or seven months already. I have nothing and request a solution to be found. Every day, I stay at a rented room and have no money to pay for the monthly rent either.

“The employer promised a week ago that he would solve the problem but until now he has paid nothing,” he said.

The Chinese employer could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Preah Sihanouk provincial Department of Labour and Vocational Training director Yov Khemara told The Post on Monday that after the protest, department officials went down to intervene.

He said on Tuesday, all the workers would file a complaint with the department asking it to write-down what was owed to the workers and continue monitoring the situation. In case the employer fails to deliver on his promise, the provincial department should take legal action.

“Our working group took all records and will continue monitoring the employer’s promise saying that he will solve the problem for the workers on April 12. Because the construction site is not yet 100 per cent complete, it is not yet named. I don’t know either what plans the employer has,” he said.

Khemara said the employer had rented the building from a Cambodian who is a landlord. But there was no information concerning the building. The provincial Department of Labour was continuing to monitor it.

Sreykum expects that when the deadline comes, a solution will be reached. In case the employer has still not paid their salaries, she said she will stage more protests and seek intervention from the department.

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

  • Schools drawn into Manet degree row

    Prime Minister Hun Sen stepped into the Hun Manet-Sam Rainsy war of words over the validity of Manet’s degree from the US Military Academy at West Point, set off by Rainsy’s claims that Manet had received a “second-class degree” or “honorary degree”. Hun

  • 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

  • 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

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished