Wednesday, December 12, 2018


Plastic recycling plant--Ea Kly 4

Since the temperature inside the plant ranges from cool to moderately hot, it's odd to see all the women well wrapped up. Perhaps they've retained this habit from working outside, where the dreaded sun will turn their skin darker, which they hate. In the area, there are coffee plantations, lumber yards, corn fields and rice paddies.

They were paid $6.82 a day, but their paces were slow, so now they're paid by how much they work. Moving much faster, many routinely make more than $8.53 a day.

They're self organized into groups, so one of my jobs is to track how many kilograms each group has handled.

They work from 7AM until 11:30AM, break for lunch, then continue from 1:30PM until 5PM.

The women prefer working here to the coffee plantations or lumber yards, since it's inside and requires no heavy lifting.

Their main tasks are sorting the plastic pieces according to types and colors, and making sure no metal is left in them before they're fed into the pelletizing machine, for it will chip or break the blade. The awful clanking sound of metal hitting metal reverberates throughout the plant. Someone fucked up.

To remove the metal, they use a hammer or meat cleaver, mostly, but sometimes a screw driver or plier. Banging away for hours is hard work, obviously.

When a Rade woman was fired for repeatedly making mistakes, she threatened to bring her entire village down to take care of our manager, but nothing came of it.

The men at the plant handle the heavy bags and operate the pelletizing machine.


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