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Unionists continue to seek overseas support

Union president Ath Thorn (centre) holds a petition against the draft trade union law earlier this year at the National Assembly.
Union president Ath Thorn (centre) holds a petition against the draft trade union law earlier this year at the National Assembly. Pha Lina

Unionists continue to seek overseas support

Independent unions continued to lobby for changes to a controversial trade union bill yesterday, while a promised government committee to “immediately” examine the law has yet to materialise.

The independent union representatives held a meeting with US Embassy personnel yesterday to discuss their concerns about the law, which they say will give the Cambodian government too much authority to effectively blacklist independent unions.

“We believe the involvement of diplomats is important in terms of this process, as they are part of the donor countries to Cambodia,” said Sar Mora, head of the Cambodian Food and Service Workers Federation, explaining that embassy personnel pledged to brief the ambassador about the issue.

The US Embassy had previously confirmed the meeting, but could not be reached for further comment yesterday.

Meanwhile, it remained unclear when a bipartisan committee to examine the law, which was announced last Thursday, would be formed.

The announcement of the committee’s formation effectively scrapped plans for a national workshop on the law slated for yesterday.

Opposition spokesman Yem Ponharith said the committee had to be green-lighted by the National Assembly’s permanent committee first.

He added it was still unknown when that would happen, but that the CNRP would “try to have a real debate about this [law] with the ruling party” when it did.

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