Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry and trade unions discuss law amendments

Ministry and trade unions discuss law amendments

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng. Heng Chivoan

Ministry and trade unions discuss law amendments

Some 100 local and international representatives of labour unions on Thursday met with Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training legal experts to discuss draft amendments to 10 articles of the Law on Trade Unions. The 10 articles centre on the rights of workers and unions to hold demonstrations.

Addressing journalists on Thursday, Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Sam Heng said some international unions and institutions continued to raise concerns about the registration of unions and the certification of top union representatives. They also expressed unease over articles they say are subject to legal restrictions.

“In order to resolve the issue, the ministry has held a series of technical meetings and consultation workshops to assess the implementation of the Trade Union Law, eventually leading to the proposed amendments to the 10 articles.

“The passage of these amendments relies on a consensus from all relevant parties. A consensus is important because the law not only relates to the freedom of unions but also [the interests of] employers.

“We also need to ensure that the trade union law does not conflict with other existing laws. Therefore, the sooner all relevant parties reach a consensus, the quicker the amendments will pass,” he said.

As of the first quarter of this year, Sam Heng said, there were 4,949 labour organisations registered with the ministry, of which 4,722 were local unions, 189 union federations and 29 confederation unions, while the rest were employers’ associations.

The minister said the number of labour-related disputes, including strikes and demonstrations, had remarkably decreased, thanks largely to the effective implementation of the Trade Union Law and the strengthening of inspections.

Ath Thon, president of the Cambodian Labour Confederation, said the latest discussion was more fruitful than previous meetings as the concerns raised by some 70 per cent of the participating unions were addressed. He called on the ministry to address their remaining concerns through further discussion and the acceptance of union input.

Thon said the outstanding issues involved workers’ right to assembly and hold strikes, among other union-related activities, and a clear stipulation as to the number of members required to register a union with the ministry.

Thon also urged the ministry to consider making the latest version of the draft law available for involved parties to review prior to a consultation workshop.

Som Aun, president of the National Union Alliance Chamber of Cambodia, said the joint drafting of the amendments offered a chance for involved parties to provide input beneficial to the labour sector in Cambodia.

Aun said unions had initially jointly requested amendments to 14 articles of the Trade Union Law. He said unions would continue to demand the inclusion of the other four articles in the amendments.

Tun Sophorn, national coordinator for the International Labour Organisation (ILO), told The Post on Thursday that he welcomed the participation of all relevant parties.

“I support the acceptance of input from all involved parties including unions, employers and the private sector. I think the minister will accept all the requests. The ministry also gives [unions] one month to request amendments to any of the 10 articles and for them to come up with any other requests,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Preah Vihear court drops charges against villagers

    The Preah Vihear Provincial Court has dropped all charges against eight ethnic Kuoy villagers who were in a land dispute with the Hengfu Group Sugar Industry Co Ltd since 2014. Wednesday’s decision was made by the judge who tried the case on June 10. The eight

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Residents ordered to remove structures on Phnom Penh’s canal

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng has ordered authorities to act against the perpetrators who built houses along the Luo 5 canal in Meanchey district. The municipal administration plans to create a committee to solve the matter. The order was given on Wednesday while Sreng led

  • ‘On the offensive’: Cambodia to load up on loans to stimulate economy

    As the dust settles on the economy, Cambodia comes to grips with what needs to be done to turn the economy around, starting with a big shopping list for credit ‘We are going on the offensive,” Vongsey Vissoth, Ministry of Economy and Finance permanent secretary

  • Eighty replacement peacekeepers set for Mali mission despite Covid

    Eighty Cambodian blue helmet soldiers who completed the peacekeeping mission under the UN umbrella in Mali will return to Cambodia on Friday, said the Centre for Peacekeeping Forces spokeswoman Kosal Malida. “To protect their families and communities from the Covid-19 pandemic, the 80 are required to

  • Government set to make up for cancelled April holiday

    The government is set to make up for a five-day Khmer New Year holiday late this month or early next month. The holiday was earlier cancelled due to the onset of Covid-19. The announcement is expected on Friday as the government is studying a range

  • Families told to register for cash handouts

    The government has called on poor families to apply to commune authorities for evaluation to receive financial support during the Covid-19 crisis. A $300 million budget has been planned for implementation within a year. Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Vongsey Visoth said this