Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Market vendors to protest

via CAAI

Wednesday, 02 February 2011 15:03 Mom Kunthear

Vendors from the PC market who have been protesting against stall rental fee increases since December are preparing to protest to Hun Sen a second time if negotiations with Phnom Penh City Hall fail to produce a result in their favour.

More than 100 vendors from PC market last week gathered in front of Wat Botum to deliver a letter of intervention to Hun Sen’s cabinet asking to freeze rental fees, introduce five-year term contracts, limit rent increases to 10 percent at the time of contract renewal and prohibit late fees and excessive charges for water and electricity.

The letter prompted officials at City Hall to call a meeting between 10 vendor representatives, the PC market manager and municipal officials on Monday, which failed to reach a compromise.

Vendors said they planned to protest in front of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house on Friday if negotiations again broke down.

“If City Hall officials cannot find a solution for us, we will gather in front of the Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house to ask for his help,” said Pov Vanny, a vendor representative.

Vendors said the disagreement began when the market owner increased the rent on stalls from US$130 to $160 for large shops, measuring three metres by six metres, and from $85 to $110 for small shops.

Pov Vanny said they are protesting to Hun Sen because local, commune and district level officials have been unable to assist them.

Heng Vuthy, manager of PC market, declined to comment yesterday about the protests. He spoke with reporters in December, saying that the vendors who were not happy with the rent increase were free to leave.

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