Tension escalates at Cambodian strike

July 5, 2012 at 3:54 PM
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PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, July 5 (UPI) -- The Cambodia Alliance of Trade Unions Secretary-General May Sopheaktra said workers would seek international attention if their demands were not resolved.

"They will keep striking and they will march to the Labor Ministry, to Hun Sen's Cabinet and to the American embassy, and we will end our march at the European Union," the secretary-general said.

Protest actions escalated this week, when the company interrupted a union rally by broadcasting an announcement over a loudspeaker, the Phnom Penh Post reported Thursday.

About 4,000 workers blocked National Road 4 for more than seven hours, allowing traffic through only after the company, Tai Yang Enterprise, agreed to negotiate, the newspaper said.

Thach Phalla, an Ang Snuol deputy police chief, sided with the workers. "We cannot blame the workers for blocking the road, because the company played a loudspeaker to disturb their strike," he said.

The workers at the factory that makes clothing for Levi's and the Gap are seeking economic support for transportation, bonus pay for good performance and a contribution to child-care costs.

They are also seeking wage guarantees and protection from demotion for workers who go on sick leave for more than three days, the newspaper said.

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