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Union to march for workers rights

THE Free Trade Union has announced it will hold a peaceful rally in Phnom Penh to demand the fair and legal treatment of recently fired garment workers. But union President Chea Mony said a date for the rally has not yet been set, registering concerns riot police will be called out to prevent the workers from gathering.

"Our rally aims to call on the government to enforce the law and for garment factory employers to treat all workers fairly," he said. "We do not know how many garment workers will participate in the rally, but we know that the there will be more than a few."

Chea Mony said that 17 representatives of the Free Trade Union were suspended from their job in September last year without proper cause, and that another 139 workers were fired between 2004 and 2008 without compensation.

"We found that there was discrimination against representatives in several garment factories, and the employers suspended our representatives because they want to cover up their abuse of the rights of workers in their factory," he added.

National Police spokesman Kirt Chantharith said Sunday that he was unaware about the union's plans to hold a rally.

"They can hold a rally, but they have to get permission from the municipal authorities," he said.

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