Union officials and the garment sector’s factory association said yesterday they supported a new program meant to enhance relations between employers and employees, but remained sceptical of how effective it would be.
In a ceremony yesterday, the Ministry of Labour inaugurated the program, which entails training sessions and meetings about conflict resolution, in an attempt to avoid disputes from escalating into strikes.
“We don’t expect 100 per cent [success],” said Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union. “I’m not sure that [employers are] committed.”
Ken Loo, secretary-general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, said the idea for the program is a good one but will not work if unions don’t cooperate.
“In theory it looks like a good agreement,” Loo said. “However if one party doesn’t respect the [decisions] then it won’t be very effective.”
An organiser for the International Labour Organization – which acted as a technical adviser – could not be reached.