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Union complaint over gun

The Free Trade Union yesterday called on the Ministry of Interior to launch an investigation into an incident in which a staff member of a rival union allegedly threatened striking shoe-factory workers with a gun in Kampong Speu province on Monday.

In a letter sent to Interior Minister Sar Kheng, FTU president Chea Mony claimed that Mok Sovann, a staff member for the Khmer Union Federation, had threatened five workers from the Shimano shoe factory who were striking on Monday.

“I would like to request His Excellency [Sar Kheng] please urge Kampong Speu province’s police station to intervene, investigate and take legal action against Mok Sovann to defend legal interests and better preserve the safety of workers of the Shimano Company,” the letter stated.

Chea Mony said  hundreds of workers who witnessed the incident had thumb-printed a complaint filed with Kampong Speu police on Monday.

The Khmer Union Federation president is Chuon Mom Thol, who is an adviser to the Ministry of Interior.

Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak claimed yesterday that although he had  not yet seen the letter, Khmer Union Federation staff were permitted to carry guns.

“Their weapons are legal. Have a look at the law,” Khieu Sopheak said.

At the time of the incident, Chea Mony claimed   the Khmer Union Federation was not independent and was in the business of defending factories rather than workers.

Chuon Mom Thol declined to comment on the matter  yesterday, saying  he was busy with a meeting.

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