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Garment Workers Strike and Three are Arrested

Three garment factory workers are arrested by factory's securities and local authorithies when about 3,000 workers are on strike against the company's owner Friday in Russey Keo district, Phnom Penh city, say labor union officials and eyewitnesses.

The Chinese owner of Garment factory LA 1 and 2 was charged by the workers of seriously violating labor regulations, such as not allowing them to have sick leaves when they were sick, discrimination, coersion, using thousands of dollars on labor union leaders to stop working and not to represent the workers, etc...

The workers demand their rights, and appeal for the removal of the general manager, an administrative director who used insulting languages with the workers.

Mr. Chea Mony, president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia (FTUWKC), and younger of his murdered brother, Chea Vichea, says that there was an unrest among the workers and the company's owner asks military police officers and the factory's representatives to arrest 3 workers and keep them at a security detention center for about 3 hours, and the workers stop workingas a protest.

There are talks between labor union leaders and the owner, and those who protest were taken off work Thursday. In this issue, there is no solution yet after a meeting between the company's representatives, the labor union officials, social department's officials and Phnom Penh officials Friday morning.

The workers receive $45 a month, and they have to pay for their rooms, foods, and medicines.

Phnom Penh municipal deputy mayor Mam Bun Neang says that both sides have asked for all the workers to resume work, but that the company's side that does not understand labor law, he requires that the company acknowledges its fault and change its policy.

He says that the owner agrees to many points and he thinks that the dispute will be solved Saturday.

He says that the company should not take some workers off work, and should respect labor law.

The workers complain that the arrest was conducted hastily, they had no right to protest, and that the managers are not good, using strict regulations and suppress them.

The factory's representatives cannot be reached for comment Friday. Mr. Chea blames the factory's owner for the workers' arrest.