Tuesday, 02 September 2014

Culture

As New Year Holiday Ends, Many Factories Stay Closed

Local villagers pray surrounding the small sand hills, locally called "Sam-ang Phnom", praying to mark the end of Khmer New Year, from April 14 to 16, at Phneat Sampaly pagoda, on the outskirt of Phnom Penh, Thursday, April 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)Local villagers pray surrounding the small sand hills, locally called "Sam-ang Phnom", praying to mark the end of Khmer New Year, from April 14 to 16, at Phneat Sampaly pagoda, on the outskirt of Phnom Penh, Thursday, April 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
x
Local villagers pray surrounding the small sand hills, locally called "Sam-ang Phnom", praying to mark the end of Khmer New Year, from April 14 to 16, at Phneat Sampaly pagoda, on the outskirt of Phnom Penh, Thursday, April 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
Local villagers pray surrounding the small sand hills, locally called "Sam-ang Phnom", praying to mark the end of Khmer New Year, from April 14 to 16, at Phneat Sampaly pagoda, on the outskirt of Phnom Penh, Thursday, April 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
Suy HeimkhemraVOA Khmer
Many factories in Phnom Penh have remained closed following New Year celebrations, but it is unclear whether that is due to a strike called by unions or simply due to extended holidays.
 
Union leaders say many workers are staying home in a quiet strike, rather than demonstrating, as they continue to push for a raise in the minimum wage to $160 per month.
 
Mass demonstrations in January led to a brutal crackdown by government forces, during which at least four people were killed. Workers are calling for the release of 21 labor activists who were arrested in the crackdown.
 
Chea Mony, president of the Free Trade Union, said he believes this strike will be effective. A majority of factories are closed because workers are refusing to return to the factories, he said.
 
Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, said about 80 percent of the garment workforce had not returned to factories Thursday, after the end of the three-day holiday. He estimated about half the workers would not work on Friday.
 
Cambodia’s garment industry employs more than 300,000 people and is a main economic driver of the country’s economy. But workers say they are not being paid enough to keep up with the rising cost of living.
 
Not all workers are striking. Phea Ley, a garment worker from Kampong Speu province, said she knew little about the strike, but she said some workers have joined it.
 
“If there are many workers joining the strike, we may join them as well, but we have no plan to right now,” she said.
 
Bo Vann, who heads a local union in the Canadia Industrial Zone, said large factories are still closed following the holiday, but he said he thought they would open back up once workers come back from extended holidays. Still, he said, there are some workers who have decided to strike.
 
Heng Sour, a spokesman for the Ministry of Labor, said the delayed return of the workers was not necessarily because of a strike. “It is normal for workers at most factories to negotiate with owners for extended days off,” he said. “Even without a strike, workers are always late coming to work.”
Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US To Continue Regular Talks on South China Sea, Diplomat Saysi
X
29 August 2014
A senior US diplomat says the US will continue to have discussions with claimants in the South China Sea dispute. In an interview with VOA Khmer, Scot Marciel, the State Department’s top diplomat for Asia and the Pacific, said “regular conversations” will help reduce regional tensions over the sea. “The whole world has an interest in a peaceful South China Sea and in seeing these disputes resolved peacefully and diplomatically,” he said in an interview in Phnom Penh. “So we’ll continue to make that point.” (Sok Khemara, Phnom Penh)

English with Mani & Mori

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Doze Off (Movie: Hairspray)i
X
25 August 2014
You can say, "I don't know why, but every time I eat 'prahok' (Cambodian anchovy) I find myself 'dozing off' all the time." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to facebook.com/voakhmer or www.youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
Video

Video Doze Off (Movie: Hairspray)

You can say, "I don't know why, but every time I eat 'prahok' (Cambodian anchovy) I find myself 'dozing off' all the time." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to facebook.com/voakhmer or youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.
Video

Video Scratch Someone's Back (Movie: Batman Begins)

You can say, "Yeah sure, I can get you a job at CNN easily. Now, if 'YOU SCRATCH MY BACK, I'LL SCRATCH YOURS'." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
Video

Video Wild Goose Chase (Movie: Inside Man)

You can say, "The policeman was sent on a 'wild goose chase' to find the killer. All the clues that were given to him turned out to be false." What does it mean? Watch here.
Video

Video Let Bygones Be Bygones (Movie: The Social Network)

You can say, "I know he hurt you, he gave up on you, and that broke your heart. But that's the past, you have to 'let bygones be bygones." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
See more >>>