Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Friday summonsed three senior leaders of Cambodia’s largest independent garment union for questioning over claims they embezzled money meant to be paid to workers in compensation following an industrial dispute, a court official has said.
Prak Savuth, head of administration at the court, said Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) president Ath Thorn, vice-president Kong Athit and secretary-general Ek Sopheakdey have been called in over claims they embezzled nearly $93,000 from workers at Kandal’s E Garment factory.
“Twenty-nine garment workers filed a complaint … on March 3,” Savuth said.
Thorn said the case was brought by former C.CAWDU members Um Visal and Roeun Chanthan to “destroy [his] honour and reputation”.
“They got angry with us [when we ended their contracts]. So they have prepared the plot for other workers to sue us,” he said.
Thorn added he would appear on April 2, but plans to file his own defamation lawsuit against Visal and Chanthan.
Visal said yesterday he is not worried. “I am waiting to see their complaint, and then I will prepare my own complaint to sue them back.”
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY MOM KUNTHEAR