A Change of Guard

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Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Union leader attacked with brass knuckles and cleaver [Hun Sen's Cambodia is a nation of gangsters]

Last Updated on 25 December 2012 
Phnom Penh Post
By Mom Kunthear and Stephanie Ip

121225 06b
Workers from the Xing Chang Xing garment factory dance and clap during a protest in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district, Monday, Dec. 24, 2012. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post
A union representative led a 1,000-strong protest at a garment factory in the capital’s Russey Keo district yesterday, alleging the company hired a gangster to beat him up on Sunday – a claim the manager has denied.
Chhim Sam On, a union leader with the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union at the Xing Chang Xing garment factory, told the Post that a man attacked him with brass knuckles and a cleaver as he walked alone near the factory.
Sam On said he had heard that someone wanted to kill him for his union activities and felt certain that the company had hired a gangster to beat him up for refusing to end the protests.
Yang Jin Sang, the factory manager, denied the accusation, saying it was “a personal matter between the union leader and people outside and there is nothing we can do about it”.
He added that his company was willing to meet most of the protesters’ demands, but that some of the workers’ requests, including increased wages and lunch money, were impossible to adopt.
The workers have said they will continue striking until 16 conditions, including paid sick leave, medical care, lunch money and better welfare for women, are met.

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

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