The Ministry of Labour and the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia yesterday unanimously praised the contentious Law on Trade Unions, offering a decidedly more positive take on its effects than recently espoused by the Kingdom’s independent unions.
The two bodies met to review the law – seven months after it went into effect – agreeing that it was creating smoother industrial relations, as well as quelling illegal activities carried out by unions in the past.
“We hope that if this union law is properly implemented, the illegal protests will go down,” said GMAC deputy chairman Kong Sang.
He added that factories were not opposed to strikes and only wanted unions to follow the law, which requires a 50 percent plus one quorum for strike votes and a similar number of votes to initiate a strike.
Mom Vannak, secretary for state at the Labour Ministry, said the law was responding to the needs of Cambodia’s acrimonious industrial relations by setting clear regulations.
“Due to increases in the list of unions, there was a need to create a law to ensure their registration accurately,” he said.
But Yang Sophorn, president of the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions, said the issues with the law went beyond just a union’s right to strike – it was hindering new union registration.
“Some local unions are finding it difficult to register after the union law’s passage because they need too many documents,” she said.