Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Better enforcement of union law needed: gov’t

Better enforcement of union law needed: gov’t

Demonstrators hold signs opposing the trade union law at a protest outside the National Assembly in Phnom Penh earlier this year.
Demonstrators hold signs opposing the trade union law at a protest outside the National Assembly in Phnom Penh earlier this year. Hong Menea

Better enforcement of union law needed: gov’t

Minister of Labour Ith Samheng during a meeting yesterday urged all provinces to step up enforcement of the contentious Trade Union Law, which he claimed had proven itself not to limit the freedom of unions and professional organisations, as advocates have long feared.

Samheng said yesterday that there are a total of 3,598 professional organisations, unions and federations, and that all provinces need to announce to unions that they must register and submit proper documentation.

Since the law was implemented, he continued, the number of unions registering had increased slightly, which he maintained “shows that the Union Law has not prevented freedom of unions or professional organisations”.

All the same, he warned, “Anybody who breaks the law must be punished, and I don’t care where they are from.” William Conklin, of labour rights group Solidarity Center, said yesterday that the law was still in its infancy, and that it remained to be seen what its impact would be.

“The reality is that it hasn’t really been used yet,” Conklin said, adding that an International Labour Organization team was set to review the law in the coming months after receiving a complaint about it.

Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Worker’s Democratic Union, maintained yesterday that the law limits unions’ ability to collectively bargain and strike, saying he had already seen “some problems”, while declining to offer specifics.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the