Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Still no motion on union law

Still no motion on union law

Still no motion on union law

120904_03

A proposed trade-union law would give tuk-tuk drivers and other informal workers the right to unionise and collectively bargain. Photograph: Meng Kimlong/Phnom Penh Post

As the latest draft of Cambodia’s long-awaited trade-union law sits idly at the Council of Ministers, Ministry of Labour officials have turned to outsiders to help hasten its enactment, a union advocate said yesterday.

Dave Welsh, country director of the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, said ministry officials had asked his organisation to lobby senior ministers to approve the law, which has been in their hands in draft form since November.

“Officials involved in this law have approached us and asked for our support,” he said.

Welsh said he would continue campaigning for the law to be introduced and was surprised at the lack of movement on the issue, especially after recent calls for action from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the US government and the “highest officials tasked with drafting the law”.

The trade-union law, in its latest form, would give the Kingdom’s informal workers, such as tuk-tuk drivers and motodops, the right to unionise and bargain collectively for better conditions.

“It’s one thing to draft a draconian law like [the first draft was] and not be able to get it introduced, but when you’re on the verge of drafting a progressive labour law and suddenly you go silent, it suggests you’re having second thoughts,” Welsh said.

Moeun Tola, head of the Community Legal Education Center’s labour program, said it was best that the government took the time to get it right.

“We have not seen the latest changes since the latest draft with the [unions],” he said.

“I think maybe we need more time to consolidate and discuss. But the law needs to be much better than the current [labour] law.”

Ke Sok Sidney, adviser to the Minister of Social Affairs, said he believed it would be better and wanted it to be introduced soon. “This law is strict for unions, workers and employers alike,” he said.

Oum Mean, secretary of state at the Ministry of Labour, said he was not aware of any recent developments.

Phay Siphan, a spokesman for the Council of Ministers, said he could not comment on the trade-union law.

To contact the reporters on this story: Shane Worrell at [email protected]
Mom Kunthear at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said

  • Protests planned in New York as Hun Sen to attend the UN

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will speak at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week. But US-based supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) plan to throw eggs at his car as part of a series of protests to coincide

  • CPP: ‘Behave or Sokha suffers’

    The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman warned Kem Monovithya on Thursday that her attempt to damage “national reputation and prestige” would lead to her father, Kem Sokha, receiving even harsher punishment. Sok Eysan issued the warning as Monovithya, who is the court dissolved

  • Preah Sihanouk beach developments halted

    After receiving an order from Hun Sen, Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara led a team of experts and relevant officials to Sihanoukville to call a halt to the illegal development of a beach. The prime minister ordered the Prek Treng beach in Otres commune