PHNOM PENH — Tens of thousands of garment workers have returned to work in Cambodia since a strike for higher pay was put down with deadly force by the authorities last week but employers are now piling up lawsuits against trade unions over the two-week dispute.

The garment makers' association said most workers had returned to work around the country by Friday although only about 60 percent had shown up at the Canadia Industrial Park in the capital, Phnom Penh, where military police opened fire on January 3, killing three strikers according to the government.