Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW) president Pav Sina wrote a letter on May 24 to Minister of Labour Ith Sam Heng requesting that the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) expand its vaccination campaign to factories in the provinces in the near future.

In a letter obtained by The Post on May 24, Sina expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Hun Sen for launching a vaccination campaign aimed at factory workers in the vicinity of Phnom Penh.

He said the campaign was very effective and had done much to achieve the priority goals of maintaining economic activity, job stability and security for the factory workers.

“Because the workers travel to the factory together and often live together in groups, I asked the labour minister to intervene to allow them to be vaccinated sooner so that they are able to come to work safely and stabilise their employment situations,” Sina said.

He added that the CUMW had received many vaccination-related questions from workers and that some factory owners have also asked the union to help speed up the vaccination of workers. Many brands are concerned about the sustainability of product supply for the international market, especially during the holiday shopping season in the US and EU from September through December.

Pav Sina told The Post on May 24 that workers were under a great deal of mental strain because they feared Covid-19 but had to risk infection by continuing to work.

He said it was unclear when Covid-19 would truly subside, leaving some buyers reluctant to order Cambodian factory-made products.

“This letter shows the urgent need for speedy vaccinations and the strong desire on the workers’ behalf to be part of the solution with their request that they be vaccinated as soon as possible.

“I think the proposal is in line with the government’s policy and corresponds to the current situation in which Covid-19 is spreading to provinces where factories are at risk,” he said.

Labour ministry spokesman Heng Sour briefly told The Post on May 24 that vaccinations would be administered in phases. “We will vaccinate all of the factory workers, but it must be done step-by-step.”