The Angkor Beer promotion women have won their battle. The women, who had suspended their strike last Thursday, have been promised the payment which they are owed. City officials, including Phnom Penh deputy governor Pa Socheatvong, came to an agreement with the women yesterday, after a long awaited for meeting.
Each of the women will receive up to 320USD in agreement with July’s arbitration ruling stating that the women should be retroactively paid 2USD overtime for every Sunday worked since 2007. Pa Socheatvong said that he will urge Cambrew to abide by labor laws and pay this amount. If the company is slow in fulfilling this duty, then the city will step in and pay the women what they are respectively owed.
According to Mora Sar, president of Cambodia’s Food Workers’ Federation, this ruling will allow for the approximate 1,000 beer promoters working for Cambrew to “file complaints for unpaid overtime”.
The Angkor Beer promotion women were supported in their struggles by both Danish and international unions, who criticized Carlsberg, 50% owners of Angkor beer, for their “appalling” actions in Cambodia. Other Cambodian unions also had threatened to boycott Angkor beer for their unjust treatment to their workers.
Several bars and restaurants in Phnom Penh also showed their support to the women by halting the sales of Cambrew products in their vicinities.
The Angkor beer promotion women are reported to be happy with the outcome of events. Beer promoter Oum Thavy was quoted by the Phnom Penh post, stating: “The money is not important for the company and it is not important to me. I want the company to respect the law and the women who promote its brands. Even though we work for the company we have rights”.
The strike which began with 34 beer promoters protesting in front of Cambrew’s headquarters in Phnom Penh, will hopefully inspire the rest of Cambodia’s estimated 4 000 beer promoters who are currently working in dismal conditions.
Source: Phnom Penh Post