Yang Sophorn will form a new union after resigning yesterday as deputy president of the Free Trade Union of the Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, describing the president Chea Mony as a communist who had caused members to lose confidence in the union.
Pha Lina/Phnom Penh Post
Free Trade Union president Chea Mony speaks during the eighth anniversary of his brother Chea Vichea’s death last month.
Yang Sophorn said she could no longer work with Chea Mony because he had not led in the same way as his late brother Chea Vichea, who was murdered in 2004.
Yang Sophorn said she would now lead the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions. “I walk out of the Free Trade Union because I have lost confidence in the leader,” she said.
“FTU used to have strong support, but that support has decreased a lot,” she said. “And it’s because of the leader.”
Yang Sophorn accused Chea Mony of never having held a central committee meeting and being governed only by his personal ideology.
“The leader is communist; he has not led according to FTU principle and statute,” she said.
FTU had lost the support of many members, she said, adding that only 50 people had marched on the anniversary of Chea Vichea’s death on January 22. Chea Mony dismissed the allegations.
“What she has said is wrong. I have always had a meeting every month,” he said. “Defection is her right, but with every defection they have always accused [us].”
David Welsh, the country director of the American Centre for International Labour Solidarity, said one union representing more than 50 per cent of employees in a factory made for more effective enterprise bargaining; however, in some factories, as many as nine unions represented workers.
“The effort should be made to solidify the movement … sometimes it can be self-defeating,” he said.