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200 strike over unionist’s dismissal

More than 200 striking workers demonstrated in front of Siko Phnom Penh Garment Factory in the capital’s Dangkor district yesterday after management fired an employee who founded a new labour union there, according to a union representative.

Siko warehouse chief Leng Chandara was fired yesterday after management realised he had founded a branch of National Trade Union Confederation (NTUC) in the factory, said Fa Saly, NTUC’s president.
“This is discrimination,” Saly said. “The factory does not want to have two or three unions.”

According to demonstrator Nov Thida, the only approved union operating at the factory does nothing to help workers with problems, unlike Chandara.

Factory administrator Chhin Yongfa yesterday said Chandara’s termination was executed because he established a union in the factory without notifying management beforehand, which, Yongfa said, is contrary to the Labour Law.

However, Community Legal Education Center labour department head Moeun Tola said the law requires no prior notification of a union’s formation.

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