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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Unions, NGOs ask for time to review draft union law

Union leader Ath Thorn holds a petition against the trade union law late last year outside the National Assembly.
Union leader Ath Thorn holds a petition against the trade union law late last year outside the National Assembly. Heng Chivoan

Unions, NGOs ask for time to review draft union law

With the draft union law due to be debated during a public forum on Wednesday, a group of 21 unions and NGOs released a statement yesterday calling on the National Assembly to allow more time to discuss the legislation before it is passed.

Unions have long argued that the draft law is designed to impinge on the basic freedoms workers and the government have not taken enough time to incorporate their concerns.

A schedule released last week of the upcoming public forum shows that after discussion of the law in the morning, just 30 minutes will be allocated for questions from the public. In yesterday’s statement unions describe the upcoming forum as “meaningless” given the limited opportunity for public debate.

“Give adequate time for the unions to thoroughly comment on the draft law,” it reads.

Contacted yesterday, the director of the National Assembly’s legislative and justice commission, Pen Panha, said that the law had been in draft form for three years and “we do not have any more time” to continually debate what stays in and what’s cut out.

He did not confirm how long after Wednesday’s forum the law would likely be passed.

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