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Southland Factory Reinstates Workers Suspended Over Election Strike


Factory workers walk as they head for home after a day's work near Kantork village outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Some 2,000 workers went on strike at the factory following the commune elections on June 4.

Eleven suspended garment workers have been reinstated by the Southland factory after they staged a strike over their employer’s refusal to allow them time off to vote in local elections held earlier this month.

Representatives of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW) on Monday said the group would be allowed to return to work following negotiations between the factory and unionists, mediated by the government.

As part of the agreement, Southland pledged not to penalize workers who went on strike in solidarity with their suspended colleagues.

Workers for their part agreed not to take part in “illegal” strikes in the future.

“We will not be angry or discriminate against them in the future,” said CUMW representative Lanh Phirum.

Lanh Phirum is a representative of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW), Phnom Penh, Cambodia, June 9, 2017. (Hul Reaksmey/VOA Khmer)
Lanh Phirum is a representative of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW), Phnom Penh, Cambodia, June 9, 2017. (Hul Reaksmey/VOA Khmer)

Some 2,000 workers went on strike at the factory following the commune elections on June 4.

The leading industry association, the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, accused union leaders of sabotage by turning off the electricity in the factory and encouraging more workers to join the strike.

But Pav Sinar, CUMW’s president, said that workers continued to be concerned about the potential for discrimination in the future.

“We will not change anything ... we will continue to monitor all the activities in this factory to see whether they [management] discriminate or take revenge,” he added.

Heng Sour, labor ministry spokesman, could not be reached.​

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