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Workers Clash With Factory Over Salary

As many as 100 workers broke through glass panes and destroyed office material at the Tonga garment factory Tuesday, angered by the management’s failure to pay timely salaries.

Worker representatives said they were facing rising prices of room rental and other penalties if they weren’t paid.

The violence erupted after the factory owner announced he would not provide a salary to workers who lodged complaints against the factory, a union leader said.

Seung Chanrith, a union leader in the Tonga garment factory, told VOA Khmer on Tuesday that he was seeking an internal solution to the dispute.

“Our workers broke the door and the glass wall,” he said. “I went immediately to the garment factory and I heard that the workers were very angry with the company, which did not provide them their salaries.”

Management said the workers had not properly followed arbitration procedures.

Workers said they wanted appropriate salaries dispensed without discrimination.

“The workers are angry because they don’t have money for house rental, water supply, food, and our whole living condition,” one worker said. “Now the house owner demands a fee from us if we don’t have money for owner then they will stop renting the house to us.”

No one was arrested following the protest.

Ang Eng Thong, head of an arbitration council at the factory, said the company will have to provide full salaries to the workers, including for the time work was suspended.