A Change of Guard

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Thursday, 24 May 2012

Honda strike set to roll on

Thursday, 24 May 2012 
By Mom Kunthear
Phnom Penh Post

About 100 employees of Honda NCX strike outside the company’s motorcycle assembly factory in Phnom Penh yesterday. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

More than 100 staffers protested outside a Honda NCX company in Por Sen Chey district’s Choam Chao commune yesterday because they say employees are being sacked for trying to unionise, among other grievances.

Soeurn Sot, a technician at the company, said during the protest that if demands aren’t met, the strike will continue.

“The director of the company doesn’t know about our problem, and he has never abused or discriminated against the workers, but the administrative and factory managers abuse the labour law, ban workers’ freedom and discriminate against the union,” he said.

The complaints were directed at Eath Seng Ny, the administrative manager, who Soeurn Sot alleged sacks staffers if they register with the union, and doesn’t allow workers to protest against the company.

Eath Seng Ny rejected the accusations and claimed that the company is trying to find a just resolution for the workers.

He said the company does not want to see any strike happen because it affects production.

“We will find a way to end the strike,” he said, adding that negotiations took place yesterday evening without success.

The Post obtained an announcement about the strike that was sent to the company general director.

It states that workers who showed up weren’t being forced to do so.

Demands are also being made for seniority bonuses to go to workers, for sacked union members to return to work, and for the administrative manager to be sacked.

Kun Ry, the vice president of the Cambodian Labour Confederation, said yesterday that attempts to resolve the dispute through Phnom Penh municipal officials didn’t work.

The officials who did negotiate with workers and union members could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Kun Ry said that officials asked workers to wait for the company to come up with a solution.

But since previous promises weren’t kept, he said, waiting is no longer an option.

“If they don’t resolve our demands, we will not stop doing our protest. We’ll protest again tomorrow,” said Kun Ry.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at kunthear.mom@phnompenhpost.com

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