Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambrew’s $60K case against union begins

Cambrew’s $60K case against union begins

Cambrew employees hold placards outside the company’s property during a protest in Preah Sihanouk province last year. Photo supplied
Cambrew employees hold placards outside the company’s property during a protest in Preah Sihanouk province last year. Photo supplied

Cambrew’s $60K case against union begins

Food worker union leader Sar Mora appeared before Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court on Friday on behalf of his federation in relation to a $60,000 lawsuit filed by beverage giant Carlsberg’s partner Cambrew following a strike last August in Sihanoukville that disrupted its production.

The Cambodian Food and Service Workers Federation, which is headed by Mora, is being sued after 100 workers went on a five-day strike to protest the termination of the warehouse manager, Lim Roath, and to call for the firing of the factory’s Malaysian-Chinese manager for unfair treatment. A verdict is expected on July 21.

Cambrew is part-owned by Danish conglomerate Carlsberg and produces Angkor, Carlsberg, Bayon, Klang and Black Panther beers.

According to Mora, the company filed a civil case against the federation, citing “harassment”, rather than a case based on the Labour Law.

“I think the real cause is that Cambrew doesn’t want our independent union in their company, and from time to time they make threats to our members, activists and union leaders,” he said.

Hong Sambath, one of Mora’s lawyers, said the defence had presented evidence to the court that the case should be based on the Labour Law. Because of that, he said, he was hopeful that the court would rule in their favour.

“But in that case [related to the Labour Law] the union has no responsibility to pay damages, and they can’t afford to pay it as well,” Sambath said.

Court spokesman Yem Bunareth refused to comment on the case yesterday and Cambrew management could not be reached.

Labour advocate Moeun Tola said it was “ridiculous” that an international brand like Carlsberg would use the courts to target the trade union and impinge on their right to freedom of association.

“While it is impossible for them to pay this [damages], my bigger concern is with the courts, which are not independent, being used to undermine the freedom of association of unions,” he said

MOST VIEWED

  • Breaking: US House passes 'Cambodia Democracy Act'

    The US House of Representatives in Washington, DC, on Monday, passed the “HR 526 Cambodia Democracy Act”, also known as the Cambodia Democracy Act of 2019. If signed off by the president, the bill will allow two major sets of action to be taken against high-ranking Cambodian

  • ‘Zero-dollar’ tours under fire

    Minister of Tourism Thong Khon has blamed “zero-dollar” tour operators for the decrease in foreign tourists to Angkor Archaeological Park in the first half of this year and has called for action against them. Angkor Archaeological Park received 1.24 million foreign visitors in the first half

  • Breaking: Rubbish found packed inside 83 containers at S'ville port

    Eighty-three containers packed with rubbish were broken open at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port by joint authorities on Tuesday. The origin of the containers has yet to be ascertained, Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said. Pheaktra, who is also the ministry’s secretary of state, said

  • VIP prison scrapped amid much criticism

    The Ministry of Interior announced on Thursday that Cambodia’s first privately run prison, which was to allow prisoners with enough money to upgrade to more comfortable cells, has been scrapped. Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said studies had found that no other country in the