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Unionising masseuses to protest alleged firing

Nearly 40 former employees at a Siem Reap province massage parlour will protest in front of its storefront today after management allegedly fired them for trying to introduce a labour union.

Hammer Massage managers on Friday fired 43-year-old worker representative Dorm Kong and 34 other workers who joined the Cambodian Food and Service Workers’ Federation (CFSWF) and planned to found a branch at the parlour, Kong said yesterday.

“The bosses accused me of inciting other workers to join the union,” said Kong, who also mentioned that 40 employees had joined CFSWF since 2011 without their bosses’ knowledge, but 35 workers had recently brought this to management’s attention. “Our bosses never respect the Labour Law.… We have to work on national holidays without getting any [additional] pay, and if we refuse to work, our wages are cut.”

But according to an assistant to Hammer Massage’s owner, Kong’s version of events is pure fabrication. No employees at Hammer Massage were fired last week, said Chan Rady, an assistant to the parlour’s owner. Further, she said, management would welcome a union into the shop, since workers have a right to start one.

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