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Angered Workers Torch Korean Boss’s Car

A group of construction workers attacked the offices of the Camko City development on the outskirts of Phnom Penh Monday night, lighting a car on fire and throwing stones through the windows of the offices, officials and workers said.

The angered workers are part of a workforce of more than 1,000 people who went on strike Monday, claiming they were owed wages for the month of October.

"The workers are angry enough to burn cars and throw stones because the person who is in charge of the wages told them a lie," Ham Samnang, a construction worker, said. "They promised to pay them by the 24th. Now it is the 27th."

Workers had no more money and were starving, he said, in addition to owing rent.

The workers earn between $80 and $150 per month, he said.

A group of the striking workers gathered inside the compound of Camko City Co. Monday and attacked the car of the company's South Korean general manager.

Company officials declined to comment Tuesday, but Lim Samnang, an advisor of administration at Camko City, said the company had erred by not paying the workers on time.

The company usually pays its workers before the 25th of the month, he said, but the payment is currently late by two days.

Police said no workers were arrested during the demonstration. Camko City is a South Korean investment of $2 billion developing 119 hectares of commercial and residential areas in Phnom Penh's Russey Keo district.

Sok Sovanareth, president of the Cambodian National Federation of Building and Wood Workers, said Tuesday the company should pay its workers on time to avoid violence.