Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Unions lobby Subedi

Unions lobby Subedi

Unions lobby Subedi

110602_4
Rong Chhun (left), president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, and Ath Thorn (right), president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union, speak to reporters yesterday.

Surya Subedi, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights, agreed to take concerns raised over the government’s draft union law during a one-hour meeting with union leaders Ath Thorn and Rong Chhun to a meeting of the UN in Geneva in June, the pair told reporters yesterday.

Outside the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Phnom Penh, Ath Thorn, president of Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union, said he had raised concerns with Subedi that the law would give excessive arbitrary state control over trade unions.

“This law restricts the creation [of unions] and when they are already created it makes it easy to destroy them,” he said.

“And when they are destroyed, the leaders of [the unions] face imprisonment.”

Particular attention was drawn, Ath Thorn said, to article 85 of the law, which he said allows the imprisonment of those who obstructs the operation of a business.

Om Mean, secretary of state of at the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training defended the draft law yesterday, saying continuing debate within the government was intended to ensure the law struck the right balance between the interests of unions, employees and employers.

Rong Chhun and Ath Thorn said they also raised concerns at yesterday’s meeting over workers from 13 factories who had been refused permission to return to work after participating in garment strike in September last year that involved tens of thousands of employees. Surya Subedi could not be reached for comment.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • PM warns party of complacency in leaked audio

    Two leaked audio tapes, purportedly of Prime Minister Hun Sen speaking candidly to senior officials, appear to hint at insecurities within the ruling party over the controversial dissolution of the country’s main opposition, with the premier warning that the party’s “struggle” didn’t

  • Government approves plan to relocate Phnom Penh’s airport

    The government has signed off on a proposal to build a new airport to serve Phnom Penh and has earmarked land in Kandal province for the $1.5 billion project. A new international airport to replace the existing Phnom Penh International Airport will be constructed on partially

  • Music festival promises big stage, has even bigger hopes

    With a line-up of local and international artists, and a massive outdoor venue booked on Koh Pich, or Diamond Island, Saturday’s Diamond Moon Festival is aiming to showcase contemporary musical and artistic talents at a scale rarely seen in the Kingdom. [img] But the