Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sacked hotel workers headed back to court

Sacked hotel workers headed back to court

Sacked hotel workers headed back to court

A dispute over the sacking of 67 workers from the Angkor Village Hotel and Resort in Siem Reap in August looks set for court again, but a labour rights advocate believes justice is no closer for workers.

Dave Welsh, country director of the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, said even if a court again ruled in the workers’ favour, the hotel’s owners, Olivier Piot and Tep Vantho, were unlikely to act.

“The Arbitration Council and courts have already ruled in favour of the unions,” he said. “The hotel, without any repercussions, has ignored all this. . . they must feel secure enough with their political connections.

“It’s a mockery of the Labour Law,” Welsh said.

The hotel sacked workers last August, shortly after they began unionising.

Piot and Tep Vantho say the workers were sacked for reasons unrelated to this.

The Siem Reap provincial court ordered the hotel owners in October to temporarily reinstate the sacked workers, but later reversed its decision.

The Arbitration Council also ordered the workers to be reinstated, which was ignored by the hotel’s owners, Welsh said.

Kim Sochet, a lawyer for the workers, said reconciliation talks broke down on Friday.

“We agreed to accept compensation then urged the hotel’s owner to withdraw their complaints of incitement, damaging hotel property and forging documents,” he said, adding the owners had refused. “We will face each other in court.”

The next court hearing, which could begin as early as Friday, will combine outstanding complaints from both sides that have previously been heard separately.

Cambodian Tourism and Service Workers Federation Vice-President Morm Rithy, one of the sacked workers, said many workers accepted “unfair” compensation out of desperation.

“There are 10 workers who still support us,” he said.

Piot and Tep Vantho could not be reached for comment.

To contact the reporters on this story: Shane Worrell at [email protected]
Thik Kaliyann at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Ethnic group ‘disappointed’ to be denied French visas to attend court

    Eleven people at the centre of a case involving seven indigenous Bunong villages in Mondulkiri province pursuing legal action in France have expressed disappointment after the French embassy in Phnom Penh denied their visa applications to attend court. A press release said the 11 included a

  • Cambodia nabs 12th place in best retirement destinations

    Cambodia is an expatriate hotspot for those dreaming of living a more luxurious lifestyle at an affordable cost, according to International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2019. For the fourth year in a row, Cambodia took the top spot in the Cost of Living category.

  • EU starts EBA withdrawal

    The EU on Monday announced that it has begun the 18-month process of withdrawing the Kingdom’s access to its preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement over “a deterioration of democracy [and] respect for human rights”. However, the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) said

  • PM: War result of foreign meddling

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Sunday that Cambodia’s recent history of conflict was caused by foreign interference. “The wars that happened were caused by provocation, incitement, support, smearing and interference from foreign powers, and the group of ignorant people who pushed Cambodia to