Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Commune officials to solve factory disputes

Commune officials to solve factory disputes

Commune officials to solve factory disputes

In response to a growing number of strikes in the country’s highly profitable garment sector, the government trained 15 handpicked commune officials yesterday to mediate and resolve factory disputes.

The training was designed to teach commune councillors to defuse and resolve conflict, Buth Ji, director of the World Bank’s Demand for Good Governance (DFGG) project, said, noting that candidates were strategically selected from provinces where industrial disputes are frequent.

“We want commune officials to use the same techniques used by the Arbitration Council to solve the problems created when strikes occur in their communities,” he said.

Liv Sovanna, a trainer and arbitrator working at the Arbitration Council, said minimising social disorder stirred up by industrial disputes was important.

He added that the training would help alleviate the strain placed on provincial courts when faced with a barrage of labour-related lawsuits.

“People are the creators of conflict, and conflict does not allow a society to do well … leading people to use police for conflict resolution,” he said.

What local authorities can’t do without the courts, however, is resolve crime-related disputes, Sovanna added.

The program follows a government directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 17, aimed at having industrial disputes solved more often on the local level.

According to the decree, select provincial and municipal officials are given the autonomy to maintain public order during strikes, monitor factory productivity and examine worksites.

Kong Athit, vice president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), said any government trainings touted as being key to conflict resolution in the garment sector should be conducted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

“In my opinion, it won’t work. We need highly trained people experienced with labour arbitration who are capable of working at the same level as the factory workers,” he said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY AMELIA WOODSIDE

MOST VIEWED

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • EU officials: Ending EBA an 18-month procedure

    EU officials have confirmed that it will take a total of 18 months to complete the procedure if Cambodia’s preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) trade agreement is to be withdrawn. According to EU Agriculture and Rural Development spokesman Daniel Rosario, the formal process has not

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • IPU slams government claim

    The president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Gabriela Cuevas Barron, has refuted a claim by the National Assembly that she “highly appreciated the achievements of Cambodia” in its July national elections with a tweet saying “Of course not!” before adding “No congratulations”. A delegation from