Ten striking workers were arrested in eastern Cambodia on Saturday after more than 200 protesters burned a factory gate and hurled stones at the police, leaving eight officers injured, a local police chief said.
The violence took place at the Juhui footwear factory in Choeung Prey district of the eastern Kampong Cham province when outraged demonstrators set the factory gate on fire.
"Protesters wanted to destroy the factory and our security forces intervened, but they did not listen to us and threw gasoline and rocks at us," district police chief Heng Vuthy told Xinhua. "Eight police officers were injured as 10 protesters were arrested in the incident."
One of the police officers got seriously injured when gasoline hit his eyes, he said, adding that the factory gate was completely destroyed.
The police dispersed the protesters after the rally turned violent, he added.
According to Heng Vuthy, the workers have been protesting for nearly two months as the factory terminated their contracts for joining protests. However, the factory said those workers abandoned their jobs.
It was the second incident at the factory within a month. On Oct. 6, about 2,000 protesting workers stormed onto the factory ground and left at least two people injured.
Strikes for higher wages or better working conditions are common in the garment and footwear industry, which is the kingdom' s largest foreign currency earner.
The industry comprises 960 factories with more than 620,000 workers, mostly females. A minimum monthly pay for the sector is 100 U.S. dollars.
In the first nine months, Cambodia exported garment and footwear with a total amount of 4.44 billion U.S. dollars, up 6 percent from 4.19 billion U.S. dollars over the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.