Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Second union warns of strike

Second union warns of strike

Second union warns of strike

ANOTHER major union is threatening to strike if its wage demands are not met, a labour leader said Tuesday, joining a garment sector union that has already warned it is considering a three-day walkout.

Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association (CITA) and head of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions (CCU), said he has yet to receive a response to demands made more than a month ago during a Labour Day rally.

At the rally, he asked for reduced work hours for the members of both bodies, a boost to monthly teacher salaries and the creation of a labour court for workers.

“We have not received a response from government officials until now.... If there is no solution for us, then a strike will happen in the very near future,” Rong Chhun said Tuesday, though he declined to give a date for any potential action.

The labour leader said he sent a letter yesterday morning to Prime Minister Hun Sen, reiterating his demands.

“We have not received a response from the authorities more than one month after we raised the issue,” he said. “So I have to send a letter to remind them.”

Rong Chhun’s warning comes as the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia (FTU) continues to threaten a strike in an effort to advance its own minimum-wage demands. Both the FTU and CITA fall under the umbrella of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions.

The FTU is demanding a 40 percent increase in the monthly minimum wage for its roughly 86,000 members, who work predominantly in the garment sector.

Union president Chea Mony said Tuesday that he is waiting for an official response from employers before asking the Interior Ministry to approve a strike.

Oum Mean, a Labour Ministry secretary of state, said both unions should engage in negotiations before resorting to strikes.

He also cautioned the workers to temper their expectations.

“We want them to get higher wages, but we don’t know how much they will get,” he said.

Garment sector workers and employers have previously agreed to renegotiate minimum monthly wages by the end of the year. Ken Loo, secretary general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, said the FTU should wait to see what the negotiations produce before
threatening labour action.

“The mechanisms are in place for proper negotiations,” Loo said, adding that a strike at this point “would go beyond the framework that was set for minimum wage negotiations.”

At this stage, none of the parties in the garment sector have set a specific date to begin negotiations.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY IRWIN LOY

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh