Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Group threatens ILO complaint over proposed labour legislation

Group threatens ILO complaint over proposed labour legislation

Group threatens ILO complaint over proposed labour legislation

A BELGIUM-BASED labour group threatened to complain to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) over proposed amendments allowing for unlimited temporary work contracts, it said last week.

The International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation (ITGLWF) said the legal changes would allow temporary contracts to be extended indefinitely; the current maximum is two years. It says the changes would also undermine union recruitment and allow employers to fire workers without notice.

"The proposed amendments to the labour laws threaten to push back much of what has been achieved by making it almost impossible for workers to exercise the right of freedom of association. The ITGLWF is currently considering a formal complaint to the ILO," wrote ITGLWF General Secretary Neil Kearney on Saturday.

The ITGLWF says it has 220 affiliate unions worldwide, representing 10 million workers. Its local members include the Cambodia Union Federation, a registered union linked with the Cambodian People's Party.

Kearney sent a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen last week urging the government to abandon the Labour Law changes.

Oum Mean, secretary of state of the Labour Ministry, said the proposed changes have been on the table since 2007 and that the officials have already consulted with NGOs and other stakeholders. "I have gone over the amendment with relevant parties, especially the employers, before the ITGLWF made its complaint," he said.

He added that workers' rights would be bolstered by the formation of a labour court, which the government had been working to form since 1997.

A spokesman for the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia applauded the amendment. "This [amendment] is a great thing to prevent abuses by both employers and relevant parties," said External Affairs Manager Kaing Monika.

But the President of Free Union of Workers of The Kingdom of Cambodia, Chea Mony, said he opposes the amendments because they would allow employers to arbitrarily fire union members. 


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38

    Kak Channthy, frontwoman of The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk near the Sun and Moon Hotel in Phnom

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of

  • American ‘fugitive’ arrested in Cambodia outside of US Embassy

    An American citizen was arrested on request by the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, according to Cambodian police. Major General Uk Hei Sela, chief of investigations at the Department of Immigration, identified the man as American Jan Sterling Hagen, and said he was

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and