Union leaders representing workers on strike at the Tropicana Casino and Resort were served with a summons by the Banteay Meanchey provincial court yesterday after a complaint by the casino’smanagement.
Bot Vy, vice-president of the Free Trade Union’s Banteay Meanchey branch, said the union leaders had received a court order on Sunday to appear yesterday morning for questioning.
Only two of the four union leaders went to the court, but Judge Pich Vicheathor postponed questioning until today, allowing the two parties time to find a resolution to the dispute first.
Vy explained that the absent leaders had been worried about being arrested and wanted to stay with the other workers in front of the casino to hear from the company, which had promised to issue anofficial response to the workers’ demands yesterday.
The court summons came around the time Sum Sam Ith, the Tropicana representative, sent a letter to the court seeking an injunction to end the protests and ensuring the union leaders would not returnto work.
“Our company cannot reinstate those union officials who were sacked, because they committed a serious mistake. They provoked, and led the workers on, an illegal strike that caused the company tolose a lot of profit,” the letter reads.
It also asks the court to order the leaders to end the strike and call on staff to return to work. Sam Ith could not be reached for comment.
The strike, which began on Saturday, involved more than 300 workers demanding that the company reinstate two sacked union activists and give them back-pay from their date of termination.
Other demands included eight-hour working days, paid sick leave if an employee provided a medical certificate, and 18 days of annual leave in addition to Cambodia’s 26 public holidays.
To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at [email protected]