Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Laid-off Siem Reap airport employees demand solution

Laid-off Siem Reap airport employees demand solution

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Former Siem Reap International Airport employees protest in front of the airport demanding solution over the firing them on July 23. FACEBOOK

Laid-off Siem Reap airport employees demand solution

Thirty out of 131 former Siem Reap International Airport employees have resumed their demand for compensation after being laid off in November last year. However, provincial labour officials said the demands exceeded what was required by law.

Mom Simsela, a former employee with 19 years of seniority at the airport, told The Post on July 27 that protests had resumed after negotiations to resolve the issue were suspended in February due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said workers are currently facing difficulties and could not wait for the final settlement. They decided to gather on July 23 to ask the labour department to resolve the issue.

“I do not have any income at the moment. I have three dependent children and my wife will finish working at the end of the month. Other people are facing the same problem. So, we protested to demand relevant institutions to assist us,” he said.

In November last year, 161 airport employees were fired by the airport investment company VINCI Airports as it was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Following a series of negotiations, the company agreed to reinstate 30 employees, promising the remaining ex-staff compensation in accordance with the law.

Ron Ravan, head of the Siem Reap International Airport Union and chief of Cambodia Transport Workers Federation, said that at the last discussion held in February with stakeholders four demands were agreed.

The first, he said, was compensation to senior employees based on the full salary in the first three months of 2020.

The second was to claim compensation for six months. He said the company has only provided compensation for three months.

The third point was the company promised to accept employees back once the situation returns to normal. Employees requested a guarantee of work for five years, but the company only offered three years.

The final demand was a tax exemption for any compensation received.

“The pandemic has suspended negotiations. However, it was recently announced that 15 people could be reinstated, so employees have asked the labour department to continue negotiations to resolve the issue,” he said.

Chan Sokhom Chenda, director of the provincial labour department, told The Post that the department was unable to hold talks proposed by former staff due to Covid-19.

He added that the remaining demands by former staff were beyond the scope of the law.

“Officials have already showed them what was stated in the law. The law also explains what benefits and compensation they can receive. Their remaining claims are not justified.”

Sokhom Chenda said settlement was between the company and staff and they have already negotiated. The airport company has paid some compensation, which was made after agreement between former staff and the company with the knowledge of the coordinating authority.

He said former employees have sought additional compensation for mental illness, which goes beyond legal procedures. But demanding negotiations during the Covid-19 pandemic was inappropriate.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Mr Pancake or M Crepe? Tasty by any title

    Crowds of people gather around a lone man with a mobile food cart every day at around 2pm in front of the Institut Francais du Cambodge to order what many say are the best crepes in Phnom Penh. To some – even to the man making

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused

  • PM sets tourism reopening as centrepiece of ATF 2022

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged ASEAN to reopen tourism and trade now that many of the bloc’s member countries have vaccinated their populations. Speaking at the 40th ASEAN Tourism Forum 2022 (ATF 2022) in Preah Sihanouk province on January 18, the premier also said ASEAN has a