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Cambrew accused of forcing out unionists

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A Cambrew employee unloads kegs of Angkor beer from a company truck. More than 20 Cambrew marketing staffers were allegedly paid off to resign. Heng Chivoan

Cambrew accused of forcing out unionists

A food workers union yesterday accused Cambrew of buying off 21 union members on the beer company’s staff with secret and inadequate payments as part of what they characterised as ongoing attempts to weaken worker representation.

Ou Tepphallin, vice president of Cambodian Food and Service Workers Federation (CFSWF), alleged that the union members were asked to resign in return for unspecified compensation, because firing them could have violated the Labour Law and involved paying severance.

“They asked them to resign and said they will give them money, which, according to me, is corruption,” she said.

The workers, three of whom were union leaders, marketed to restaurants and establishments, getting them to sell Angkor and Carlsberg beer. Cambrew is half-owned by the Danish conglomerate, and also sells Bayon, Klang and Black Panther beers.

“I heard that one of them got $10,000,” Tepphalin said. “They got them to resign saying they were sick or [for] other reasons.”

Tepphallin said Cambrew had consistently attempted to undermine union and worker rights, as evidenced by last year’s firing of 11 female beer promoters who were protesting unfair pay practices, as well as its court complaint filed against union president Sar Mora in relation to a strike at its Sihanoukville facility.

Reached yesterday, Ngieb Chheng Leab, chief of administration at Angkor beer, said he had not heard of the resignations and refused to answer any other questions.

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