Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Infighting at garment union

Infighting at garment union

Infighting at garment union

Two founding members of Cambodia’s largest independent garment worker union say they were forced out of their jobs for investigating corruption.

Members of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), media outlets and several labour rights organisations received a letter dated March 14 and signed by Um Visal and Roeun Chanthorn, denying claims that the two refused to renew their employment contract.

“We totally reject the letter [C.CAWDU secretary general) Ek Sopheakdey sent on March 7, saying we left because we did not sign our employment contract,” the letter reads. Visal alleges the two were fired because they met with C.CAWDU members at EGarment Co and told them the union owed them more money in back-pay than they received following the resolution of a dispute.

Workers involved in the monetary dispute with C.CAWDU have filed a complaint in Phnom Penh Municipal Court against union president Ath Thorn, vice-president Kong Athit and Sopheakdey, said Doung Tola, a C.CAWDU representative at EGarment, alleging they embezzled nearly $93,000.

Athit last week denied the embezzlement allegation, and said Visal’s claims stem from internal politics.

“Everybody has their own contract … he refused to re-sign the contract,” Athit said. “It’s about [Visal] waiting for an opportunity to destroy C.CAWDU leadership; he wants to be a leader.”

But Visal’s letter denies this, saying his and Chanthorn’s contracts did not have a fixed duration, since they had worked for C.CAWDU since its founding.

Article 67 of Cambodia’s labour law says employers can only keep employees on fixed-duration contracts for up to two years.

Dave Welsh of Solidarity Center said current C.CAWDU infighting comes amid a political climate that calls for unity among garment workers.

MOST VIEWED

  • US imposes sanctions on Oknha Pheap and Kun Kim

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed strong dismay on Monday over the designation of Cambodian tycoon Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim under the US’ Global Magnitsky Act. “It is very disturbing when the public figures of a country become the

  • Mother, daughter killed in hotel fire

    The bodies of a mother and daughter were found locked in an embrace after they were killed in a hotel fire in Phnom Penh at around 3:30am on Wednesday at the Phkar Chhouk Tep 2 Hotel and Restaurant in Phsar Doeum Kor commune, in the capital’

  • EBA withdrawal a destruction of EU achievements, PM says

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the EU’s possible suspension of its Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement amounted to a destruction of its achievements in the Kingdom and the demise of the opposition group. Hun Sen made the remarks while addressing more than 6,700 students during

  • Rights Day forum denied in Sihanoukville

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration last Saturday denied the request of land communities for a public location in the province to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2019 as the administration had already held forums to discuss land issues. However, the land community representatives said they would

  • Kingdom calls on Japan to increase number of direct flights to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh

    Cambodia is requesting Japan to increase the number of direct flights from Japanese cities and provinces to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, so as to contribute to increasing cooperation and tourist numbers between the two countries. During the opening ceremony of 3rd Japan Travel Fair

  • Sri Lanka’s LOLC Holdings plans to sell Cambodian unit

    LOLC Holdings Plc, Sri Lanka’s second-largest publicly traded company by revenue, plans to sell its 70 per cent stake in Prasac Microfinance Institution Ltd, which also counts Hong Kong’s Bank of East Asia Ltd. as a shareholder, LOLC deputy chairman Ishara Nanayakkara said. Nanayakkara