Fourteen representatives of trade unions and confederations on Monday submitted a joint petition to Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng requesting the government cancel the June 2 notice delaying the 2019-2020 seniority payments for workers in all sectors.
Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia (BWTUC) president Sok Kin and another petition representative told The Post on Tuesday that the 14 represent the hotel, tourism, service and construction sectors.
Kin said: “If Prakas No 018/20 dated June 2, 2020, on the delay of the 2019-2020 seniority payments of this ministry is still effective, then workers will not receive their seniority pavements. So, we request that this notice be cancelled.”
He said Nin Vannak, the deputy secretary-general of the ministry’s Committee for the Settlement of Strike and Demonstration, received the petition.
Vannak, he said, promised to inform top management of the confederations and unions of the outcome next week.
“They will consider our petition. At this stage, we’re not hoping for a solution, but we have to do this because the matter is useful to workers and employees.”
The petition said that employers have suspended thousands of workers because of Covid-19.
“Workers are facing problems such as paying back regular loans including principal and interest, paying for medical care, assisting family members and taking care of daily essentials.”
The letter requested that the ministry encourage employers to pay seniority payments from before 2019 for the textile, garment and footwear sectors.
They want employers to make the new seniority payments for this year for all sectors under Article 89 of the Labour Law and Prakas No 443 of the ministry, which allows workers to receive income to provide for their families.
Responding to the petition, ministry spokesperson Heng Sour told The Post on Tuesday that all persons had the right to forward a petition.
“We received it already and hope that all individuals will read the notice of the ministry again. We hope everyone is united to correctly follow a meaningful notice of the ministry which will help retain millions of jobs in the current circumstance.
“If they were capable [of meeting their commitments], then factories or enterprises would not have been shut down or suspended,” Sour said.