Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Garment sector peace sought

Garment sector peace sought

Garment sector peace sought

120430_03

Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on unions, employers and the Ministry of Labour to take a collaborative approach to stamping out violent protests in the garment industry, a unionist said yesterday.

{jathumbnail}

During a Saturday conference involving 4,000 people from more than 60 union groups, Hun Sen said each group must work to “improve the atmosphere in the garment sector”, according to Som Aun, president of the Cambodian Labour Union Federation.

The call came just days after the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce and the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia asked the prime minister to help them combat violent strikes that it said were being spearheaded by unions using “mafia-type tactics”.

Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, however, said yesterday that strikes were occurring only because employers weren’t respecting the labour law or Arbitration Council rulings and were discriminating against union leaders.

“Strike and demonstrations are last resorts,” he said. “They reflect that officials haven’t dealt with the problems.”

GMAC secretary-general Ken Loo said Hun Sen had responded indirectly to the association and the Chamber of Commerce’s request, but more needed to be done.

“However, nobody but the unions can decide whether or not to follow the law,” Loo said.

“We just ask for police to maintain public order. We do not need people to be arrested, but we want to see that factory gates are not blocked.”

Loo disputed claims made by Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) president Ath Thorn in the Post last week that his union had conducted only one strike this year.

“[C.CAWDU] has conducted strikes at four other factories,” he said. “We have evidence they have conducted strikes in factories where they have a CBA [collective bargaining agreement].”

Ath Thorn could not be reached for comment.

About 5,000 workers intend to use International Labour Day tomorrow to march a petition to the National Assembly, government and general-secretariat of ASEAN to lobby for better working conditions.

The Ministry of Labour and Phnom Penh city hall have agreed to allow the demonstration, provided that political parties and violence are not involved.

Meanwhile, the International Labour Organization and the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training will hold an event today in Preah Sihanouk province to promote workplace safety.

Work-related accidents kill more than 1,500 people a year, while about 3,000 contract work-related diseases, the ILO says.

To contact the reporters on this story: Tep Nimol at [email protected]
Shane Worrell at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • PM orders immediate action against ‘sexy’ live streamers

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday ordered immediate action against women who live stream their sales pitches on Facebook wearing revealing clothing. The prime minister said the practice erodes traditional Cambodian values and disgraces women. Hun Sen gave the order to officials attending the Cambodian

  • Trump tweets praise for Kingdom docking ship

    Cambodia continues to earn praise for its humanitarian act of allowing the MS Westerdam cruise ship with more than 2,200 passengers and crew on board to dock at the Preah Sihanouk port. The praise this time comes from none other than US President Donald Trump. “Thank

  • Tourist area greenlit in Sihanoukville

    The National Committee for Coastal Management and Development will coordinate with relevant ministries over the establishment of a billion-dollar tourist area named Neak Reach in Preah Sihanouk province after it was proposed by the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and

  • Hun Sen defends decision to dock Westerdam cruise ship

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday hit back at critics who say he allowed the Westerdam cruise ship to dock in Sihanoukville for political reasons. Speaking at an annual gathering of the Ministry of Interior, Hun Sen said he acted to avert a humanitarian catastrophe

  • Organic vegetable retailer unveils QR code scheme for origin source

    Organic vegetable retailer Natural Agriculture Village has introduced QR codes on its product packaging, which will allow consumers to see where their produce comes from. Natural Agriculture Village president Bun Sieng, who is also a member of local distributor Green Gold, told The Post on

  • Cool heads will defeat Covid-19

    Since Covid-19 was first reported as a world health issue, cruise ships have been the worst to suffer after airlines. The experiences of those who were initially trapped on the Covid-19-stricken Diamond Princess are unimaginable. The cruise ship was rejected from docking at one