Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training officials have appealed to workers in the textile sector to file complaints to the ministry immediately, if factory owners failed to make last year’s seniority indemnity payments.

Meanwhile, some unions claimed that factories had failed to pay the second of two disbursements in 2019 as per the ministry’s prakas.

Ministry spokesman Heng Sour told The Post on Thursday that it had not received complaints in regards to factory owners failing to pay up.

He told The Post: “There is no figure [of factories that failed to pay seniority indemnity for workers] and the ministry has also never received any complaint from workers in the textile, garment and footwear sectors.

“If such a thing happens, the ministry would like all the affected workers to immediately complain so that action can be taken.”

The ministry’s prakas on Payment of Seniority Indemnity, states that employers are required to pay last year’s seniority indemnity and [current] seniority indemnity twice a year, with the first payment to be made in June and the second in December.

However, Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW) president Pav Sina said some factories did not implement the prakas as the owners had informed the workers that they would get paid this month, while others had not set any date to make the December payment.

Sina said it showed weaknesses in Cambodia’s legal system when factory owners failed to follow the prakas. He said the ministry should carry out inspections and impose fines on factory owners to ensure that the law is effectively enforced.

He said: “If [the ministry] does not monitor and carefully investigate such delays, it will mean that we have only regulations that are as good as a blank piece of paper. Employers will not respect it as it will have no value.

“Officials must strengthen the implementation of the prakas through proper enforcment, especially with regards to punishing employers and enterprises that fail to adhere to the law.”

Sina said according to the CUMW’s monitoring of December’s seniority indemnity payment, around 10 factories had not coughed up the money to their workers.

CUMW deputy president Pum Sokunthy who works at Yuly International (Cambodia) Garment Factory in Bavet town, said yesterday that he has heard factory workers saying their employers failed to pay up.

“The Ministry has already announced the prakas, so I don’t know why some factories refuse to follow the law. The affected workers are unhappy and it could lead to protests. My employer is supposed to release a list today [January 2], of the amount of money the workers will receive and we are waiting for it.”