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Chea Mony ends long run as FTU’s president

Toch Ser, the newly elected Free Trade Union president, talks to the media yesterday at a union congress in Phnom Penh.
Toch Ser, the newly elected Free Trade Union president, talks to the media yesterday at a union congress in Phnom Penh. Sen David

Chea Mony ends long run as FTU’s president

Free Trade Union president Chea Mony yesterday stepped down from the leadership role he assumed after the assassination of his brother 12 years ago, with the union finding Toch Ser as his successor during yesterday’s annual congress.

At a gathering of more than 500 union members in the capital, Ser said she was pleased to take on the new role and vowed to continue the union’s commitment to worker rights.

“I will lead this union to progress and protect our workers’ demands on minimum wages, protect them from employer abuses and ensure good working conditions,” Ser said.

Mony announced his intention to not seek re-election nearly a year ago. He has been at the reins of the union since 2004, when his brother, prominent unionist Chea Vichea, was gunned down in broad daylight near Wat Lanka pagoda in the capital. The case has never been solved, and its handling has been widely criticised.

“For 12 years, I have been the president of this union. I worked a lot to protect and support protests by a lot of workers who were abused by their employers,” he said, adding that he will remain with the union as a board member.

At a separate congress yesterday, the non-affiliated Union Coalition for Labour (UCL) merged with prominent union leader Yang Sophorn’s Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions.

“Our work is the same and we want to work together to be a strong union, which is why we decided to merge,” said UCL head Roeun Chan Thorn.

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