Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Union leader warns of protests

Union leader warns of protests

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Rong Chhun speaks at a press conference on Tuesday. Hong Menea

Union leader warns of protests

A prominent union leader on Tuesday threatened to hold a large-scale demonstration if the newly elected government ignores the European Union’s resolution demanding a political compromise between the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and the court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).

At a press conference, Cambodian Confederation of Unions (CCU) president Rong Chhun urged the government to accept the EU resolution to avoid economic consequences of possible sanctions, which include a suspension of the Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme.

A compromise, he said, will help Cambodia sustain its economic growth and retain the jobs of around 800,000 garment workers.

Chhun expressed concerns about the future of garment workers who might lose their jobs and other benefits if the government refused to comply with the EU, one of the largest markets for its garment products.

“If the EU ends Cambodia’s tariff-free exports and imposes an economic embargo, garment workers will lose their jobs and Cambodia will fall into a crisis.

“I think politicians from the ruling CPP and opposition CNRP must sit and talk to find political solutions and organise a free and fair election to avoid political and economic crises in Cambodia,” he said.

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said Chhun’s threat of a demonstration is just a pretext used to cause social chaos or to serve foreign political interests.

“The authorities at all levels will take legal action according to the law to maintain national sovereignty, independence and solidarity. Let me remind Rong Chhun and his group that Cambodia is not an EU colony. Cambodia has had very good cooperation with the EU for decades,” he said.

Former CNRP lawmaker Ou Chanrath said that whatever decision the EU makes, it is meant to restore democracy in Cambodia.

“The government should follow the EU’s decisions and then just do its best. A demonstration is a reflection of the will [of the people]. When they can hardly survive, and their freedom and livelihoods are affected, it’s just a matter of time before they stand up [to the government],” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports