The mounting threat of a national-side strike at the Khmer Rouge tribunal reached new heights yesterday, with the court announcing that it would not be able to pay salaries for the month of August – just days before the September 1 deadline for resolution set by staffers.
According to an email from court spokesman Neth Pheaktra, the court’s Office of Administration announced to all Cambodian staff that “even [though] there are many efforts made by the Cambodian government and UN” to secure new funding, no new pledges had been made.
“So, Administration [doesn’t] have enough cash flow to pay the salaries of the national staff from June, July and August,” he added.
About 250 Cambodian staff members remain unpaid, and about 100 – including some in departments essential to the court’s functioning – have threatened to temporarily leave their posts if there is no concrete information on their salaries by Sunday.
An earlier strike in March crippled the tribunal for two weeks, but was eventually called off when some of workers’ back salaries were paid.