PHNOM PENH: More than 4,000 garment workers marched in Cambodia’s capital yesterday to protest their factory’s alleged dismissal of employees who had gone on strike.
The labour protest is one of the largest this year in Cambodia, an impoverished Southeast Asian economy heavily reliant on the garment industry as its main exports earner and biggest formal sector employer.
Union leaders and workers from the Singaporean-owned SL Garment Processing (Cambodia) Ltd say they marched to Phnom Penh’s municipal-government buildings, where they lobbied authorities to intervene in a standoff that started two weeks ago.
Workers say they went on strike over what they described as workplace intimidation, citing the alleged presence of military police during regular factory inspections. SL Garment responded by sacking more than 700 workers on Wednesday and suspending more than 5,000 others, according to Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union.
Officials also said they would work to resolve outstanding issues over the coming days.