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

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the