Camboya - Mass dismissals following strike, union sued

Gawon Apparel factory in Kandal province’s Takhmao town fired 588 workers on 7 January 2018 following a protracted strike.
The workers had been involved in a lengthy strike over unpaid wages, a problem that had persisted for over a year. At the beginning of January the factory obtained a court warrant ordering protesters and officials from the Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (CCAWDU) to return to work within 48 hours.
A worker said that they returned to work as ordered, but only worked two days before resuming their protest at the factory gates. She explained that the court order was unjust, their demands had not been met, and the workers could not resume work, as the factory took machines out during the protest. Several workers had continued to sleep in front of the factory to prevent more machinery from being removed.
The factory director decided to fire the 588 workers by accusing them of not following the court order.

On 21 January it was revealed that the factory owner was suing the CCAWDU for continuing its protest and had requested Labour Ministry intervention. The factory claimed the protesters used violence and intimidation to prevent other workers entering the factory, which the CCAWDU denies. The case was ongoing at the time of writing.

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