The Voice Khmer Union Federation (VKUF) yesterday accused Chea Mony, president of the Free Trade Union (FTU), of attempting to murder two of its leaders, an allegation he denied.
VKUF president Long Sophat said his officials would file documents to Phnom Penh Municipal court over an incident outside the Conpress Holdings garment factory in the capital’s Meanchey district on Saturday.
“I will sue [Mony] for attempting to murder two of my officers – union leaders at Conpress,” Sophat said.
He alleged Mony had tried run down his rival union members with his car during a protest that involved about 100 workers and 20 FTU officials.
“They were lucky not to get hit,” he said. “We have evidence and witnesses. I think [Mony] did this because my union did not protest with his union – but I will let the court investigate this case.”
Mony said that if he had really wanted to run over his rivals, he would have.
“We did not try to crash into them. They are like mice and cockroaches – killing them would have been too easy.”
Mony said he and his staff, who had arrived in two cars, stopped to ask two VKUF officials why they were damaging his reputation.
“We asked why they claimed my union had accepted $3,000 to withdraw its complaint against the factory,” he said.
VKUF union leaders Song Sareoun and Chhay Nimol said Mony had driven his car at them before getting out and confronting them.
Workers at Conpress have been protesting for about a week, claiming management had sacked employees who were FTU leaders.
Ken Loo, of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, was unaware of the alleged incident, but said a review of the current memorandum of understanding, adopted in October to reduce strikes, would be carried out soon.
“It’s hard to say [how effective it’s been]. Let’s wait until after [the review] before making any comment,” he said.
On Sunday, Mony said he was withdrawing a criminal complaint filed in 2003 over the murder of his brother, FTU leader Chea Vichea, after the re-imprisonment last week of two men widely believed to have been wrongly convicted.
To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at firstname.lastname@example.org
With assistance from Shane Worrell