Workers Allegedly Fired from Kandal Factory for Forming Union

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Hul Sokhim, center, speaking to colleagues from the SYHJ Garment factory in Kandal’s Ang Snoul district in April, 2022. (Photo supplied)
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CORRECTED, May 25—Three workers from a Kandal factory are alleging they were fired by their employer for forming a local union. 

The trio were employed at SYHJ Garment factory in Kandal’s Ang Snoul district and said they were fired without cause or notice last week. They said this was done because they had formed a factory-level union in March. 

Hul Sokhim, one of the workers, said their seniors made it clear they were unhappy with the workers’ decision to form the union. She said management was rude to workers and treated them badly. 

“They used harsh words against us. They did not give us value as workers at the factory,” she said. 

Prak Tola, one of the three fired workers, said the dismissals were discriminatory and in violation of the law.

“They do not want an independent union to help workers who have been oppressed by the company. They choose only those who side with them,” Tola said. 

A person called Piseth, who was identified by the workers as SYHJ’s administrative director, did not want to comment for this article.

The three workers have filed a complaint with the Labor Ministry this week alleging they were illegally fired for unionizing and wanted to be reinstated. 

Chea Seng Hong, who heads the Labor Ministry’s dispute resolution office, said he had not received the complaint. 

“If we receive the complaint, it will be resolved according to the procedure,” he said.

Ry Sethyneth, the president of the Independent Trade Union Confederation, said the factory should not have fired the workers, because they were only trying to represent their colleagues who had issues in the factory.

“The factory discriminated against the workers and fired the workers for no apparent reason at all. In fact, this action is union discrimination,” Sethyneth said.

Correction, May 25 — SYHJ Garment Factory fired three workers. The factory is next door to a similarly named SYSG Garment Factory, according to maps.

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