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

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there