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Union group slams NSSF fainting move

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Garment workers receive treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh after about 200 of them fainted in separate garment factories in Vattanac Industrial Park 2 in 2012. Vireak Mai

Union group slams NSSF fainting move

The Cambodian Confederation of Unions (CCU) on Saturday criticised the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) for a statement that said faintings caused by low levels of essential minerals in workers’ blood are to be classed as an accident and not put down to bad working conditions.

From June 1, the NSSF has said it will recognise such deficiencies, which can lead to faintings, as an individual health issue and not caused by workplace conditions.

Workers will receive different coverage depending on how their accident is classified. Should a worker faint due to such deficiencies, the NSSF will only compensate the individual for their healthcare.

In cases of faintings caused by work-related incidents, the NSSF will compensate both the individual and family.

On Saturday Rong Chhun, president of the CCU, criticised the NSSF, saying that if a worker faints during working hours and inside company premises, the firm should assume responsibility and pay full compensation to the employee for health care and to family members who stop work to attend to their relative.

The NSSF has said it will file a complaint against Chhun in court for damaging its reputation with such criticism.

Chhun said: “We’re working to make sure our members and workers receive benefits from companies should they fall ill. If we see workers losing benefits in this way, we as unions need to prevent it".

“I do not worry that the NSSF is seeking a lawsuit against me as I haven’t done anything wrong. Instead they should listen to the unions and support their workers. They should reconsider and do what is right by the workers.

“The CCU issued a statement criticising the NSSF for not taking responsibility for workers who faint or fall ill if it isn’t due to the working environment but occurs on company premises.

“This will result in workers losing benefits and also affect the family’s ability to attend to the sick worker. If the illness causes them to die, if it is not covered by the NSSF as a work-related accident, the family will not get compensation.

“This violates articles . . . of the Labour Law because such an incident occurring inside the workplace during working hours is considered to be work related, regardless of the cause of whether or not the worker is at fault.”

The Post could not reach NSSF spokesman Cheav Bunrith for comment.

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