Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - GMAC calls on union leaders to respect law



GMAC calls on union leaders to respect law

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Garment workers protested in front of their factory in February. Hong Menea

GMAC calls on union leaders to respect law

The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) released a statement on Tuesday asking union leaders to halt protests and comply with the incoming law on seniority indemnity back pay.

The statement said some union leaders led their employees and workers on strike, demanding that their employers give them seniority indemnity back pay once a year, contradicting an incoming law mandating that it is paid every six months.

“Seniority payments” will replace Cambodia’s current system of “indemnity for dismissal” payments – a legal concept requiring employers to give an employee severance pay if their contract is terminated – at the start of 2019.

As a result of the amendment, Prakas 443, an employer is no longer required to indemnify an employee who is dismissed but will be required to pay “seniority payments” every six months, equivalent to 15 days of the employee’s pay. The first payment will occur in June of each year, and the second payment in December.

“GMAC demands that all unions respect the spirit of Prakas 443 and relevant regulations in order to ensure harmonious industrial relations and stability of the textile, garment and footwear sector,” the GMAC statement read.

It also requested that the government intervene and urged the relevant sectors to implement the Prakas Law as stated, or risk rocking investor confidence in the Cambodian industry.

Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union president Ath Thorn said workers wanted the seniority indemnity payment paid once per year, but employers were unable to do this.

“The seniority indemnity will be paid in June next year. Why is the strike happening now? The strike is not right. We want to have an acceptable solution without protests,” he said.

Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training spokesman Heng Sour called for “all concerned parties to respect the laws and regulations, particularly upholding peaceful and lawful industrial relations.”

GMAC deputy secretary general Kang Monica said unions from at least four different factories are behind the unrest.

She called the demands “contrary to the spirit of the law [Prakas 443],” and added that such a demand would cause instability in Cambodia’s garment industry, which is already experiencing problems.

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

  • 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

  • Cambodia lauded for fight against Covid-19

    Cambodia has drawn global accolades for its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a new report finding that the Kingdom has controlled the pandemic better than any other country in Asia. Dr Takeshi Kasai, director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Western Pacific region,