Land Minister Pushes for End to Workers Living at Building Sites

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Land Minister Chea Sophara said in the meeting on July 04, 2019. Image: Chorn Chanren
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Land Minister Chea Sophara said on Thursday that developers must no longer allow workers to live at half-finished building sites following the deaths of 28 last week in a Sihanoukville building collapse.

Speaking at a ministry meeting about building standards, Sophara said construction companies needed to provide alternative accommodations for their workers.

“It is not allowed to have workers sheltered at construction buildings. This is something that is not allowed at this time,” Sophara said. “We have already given these instructions previously, but these instructions have not yet been fully implemented.”

“Please respect the law, legal regulations and other regulations without violating the code of ethics,” he added.

Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia president Sok Kin, however, said trying to rein in the ubiquitous practice would require the provision of workers’ accommodations.

Construction workers could not afford to pay for their own lodgings, he said.

“Workers receive low wages,” Kin said. “Their work is irregular. Per month, they may find work for just 10 to 15 days, for example.”

The workers can only get-by by staying at the construction sites even while waiting for work, he said.

According to the Land Management Ministry, more than 200,000 workers are employed in the construction sector.

(Translated and edited from the original article on VOD Khmer)

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