15 strikers arrested by Cambodian Police for illegal protests

Cambodian Police have arrested 15 workers that were protesting against layoffs at the NagaWorld Integrated Resort in Phnom Penh.

Sources say the workers have been striking in front of the property since mid-December in a protest that the police have described as illegal.

The strikers were demanding the reinstatement of 365 employees who claimed to have not been properly compensated.

Cambodian police said it had issued a statement prior to the arrests in which the protest was deemed illegal, as well as being considered a threat to public order and safety.

The Chief of the Workers’ Union, Chhim Sithar, commented: “Information we received from our members is that 15 people, including a pregnant woman, have been arrested.

“Up to this hour, none of the workers’ demands have been solved but instead authorities have arrested unionists, activists and strikers.”

According to NagaCorp (NagaWorld’s parent company), a number of staff members have indeed been laid off to maintain operational and financial flexibility, while operations in Cambodia were suspended because of Covid-19.

NagaCorp added that it had taken “proactive measures to manage the situation” and said the affected employees were provided with “enhanced termination compensation over and above payments required by the applicable Cambodian laws to assist their transition into other career or business interests.”

The company argued that the majority of affected employees have signed mutual separation agreements.

When the workers were let go, NagaCorp was expecting to save up to $2m per month in run-rate operating costs.

Another nine people that were arrested on New Year’s Day have already been charged with “incitement to cause serious chaos to social security.”

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