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Caltex Workers Continue Strike as Talks Fail

A woman walks through a closed Caltex gas station during a strike Monday, May 12, 2014, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Workers at gas stations in Cambodia owned by the U.S. oil company Caltex have gone on strike to demand higher wages and better working conditions. A strike leader, Sar Mora, said at least 250 Cambodian employees of Caltex halted work Monday, forcing at least 17 of the company's 26 stations to suspend operating. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
Workers for Caltex gas stations say they will continue their strike for increased wages, following failed negotiations late Tuesday.

Representatives for the gas station said they could raise the workers’ salaries within the next few months, but did not specify an amount.

Some 300 Caltex workers at 18 stations in Phnom Penh have joined garment workers in calling for a raise in the minimum wage to $160 per month.

Caltex workers currently make between $100 and $130 per month, which they say is not enough to keep up with inflation and the rising costs of living in Phnom Penh.

Representatives of the workers met with officials from the company, the Ministry of Labor, City Hall, and Phnom Penh police to discuss the issue Thursday.

Sor Mora, head of the Labor Union Federation of Food and Services, said the company asked for a delay in salary negotiations for a “few months,” which was not acceptable to workers.

“The meeting did not produce any fruitful results,” he said.

Than Chanlek, a spokesman for Chevron, the parent company of Caltex, said in an email the company is “disappointed the union continues to reject our proposals.”

“We hope that our unionized employees will agree to resolve this matter amicably and to abandon their unlawful strike,” he said.

The Ministry of Labor has proposed another meeting for May 20.