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Labour draft law scrutinised

REPRESENTATIVES from a coalition of seven unions comprising about 300,000 members have requested that the Ministry of Labour amend more than 20 “loopholes” before sending a controversial draft union law to the Council of Ministers.

At a two-day meeting coordinated by the Labour Ministry earlier this week, union representatives, employers, relevant ministries and staff from the International Labour Organisation discussed contentious articles in the draft law that some union leaders have suggested will restrict union activities.

Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union, said at the meeting that the union coalition would refuse to support the draft law if requested amendments were denied.

“The new draft law puts pressure on the unions, gives punishment of one to three years [imprisonment] and fines ranging from two to 10 million riel (US$487 to $2,437) for union representatives who strike or do not comply with the union law,” he said. “This is contrary to the Labour Law.”

Sath Samoth, under secretary of state at the Labour Ministry, said at the meeting that concerns over the draft law would be discussed within the ministry.

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