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FTU boss to sit out meet

The president of the Free Trade Union is slated to boycott this morning’s final meeting to discuss the trade union law, held at the Ministry of Labour.

FTU president Chea Mony said yesterday that it would be “useless” for him to participate, because “we all know the result in advance”.

“Most of the members of the Labour Advisory Committee at the Labour Ministry who are joining the discussion are pro-government and government officials, so it is useless for me join,” he said.

Mony, who recently said he will not seek another term as FTU boss, said that government officials had not given him the last draft of the trade union law, which he suspected would discriminate against his union.

“The trade union law could be a good law if there were four independent unions and three pro-government [at the meeting], but actually most of the unions who join the discussion are pro-government,” said Mony.

Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, said yesterday that he would join the final discussion even though he was against the law.

“I am not yet aware of what is going on tomorrow, but it is too short a time for us to accept this law,” Ath Thorn said.

“We will protest against them if we see it is bad for us. Generally, unions do not want to see this law appear.”

The meeting is being presided over by Minister of Labour Ith Sam Heng, according to a recently obtained letter.

Those who oppose the law say it restricts the right to organise, such as by establishing a high minimum number of members for a union to be created.

Ministry of Labour spokesman Heng Sour could not be reached for comment.

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