Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Activists chided after leading worker protest



Activists chided after leading worker protest

Srey Chamroeun leaves the National Assembly last month after protesting in Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park with garment workers and delivering a petition.
Srey Chamroeun leaves the National Assembly last month after protesting in Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park with garment workers and delivering a petition. Hong Menea

Activists chided after leading worker protest

The Labour Ministry has chided social media celebrity Thy Sovantha and student leader Srey Chamroeun for claiming to represent unions and workers at a recent protest, and threatening legal action if it happens again.

The two led 100 garment workers in a July 24 protest of a speech made by CNRP leader Sam Rainsy at the European Parliament asking the bloc to use garment imports as a bargaining chip to improve human rights in Cambodia. Their letter to City Hall seeking permission for the protest claimed the pair represented the workers.

The letter rebuking the pair was issued on Friday following a request for intervention the day before from Free Trade Union (FTU) deputy president Man Seng Hak. “We warn Srey Chamroeun and Thy Sovantha to stop any union-related activity without registering [as a union] immediately,” Koy Tepdaravuth, head of the labour dispute department, said in the letter.

Tepdaravuth also warned the duo that they would face legal action as per the provisions of the Trade Union Law.

While the FTU letter cited articles 80 and 81 of the Union Law, which prevent unions from organising activities without registration, Sovantha and Chamroeun said they didn’t claim to represent workers. “Thy Sovantha and I do not accept the warning letter from Ministry of Labour because we are not wrong,” Chamroeun said yesterday.

He added that they were consulting lawyers and would clarify their position at a yet-to-be-announced press conference.

Seng Hak said the warning letter from the ministry was a fair response.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants