Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Unions lobby Subedi

Unions lobby Subedi

Unions lobby Subedi

110602_4
Rong Chhun (left), president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, and Ath Thorn (right), president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union, speak to reporters yesterday.

Surya Subedi, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights, agreed to take concerns raised over the government’s draft union law during a one-hour meeting with union leaders Ath Thorn and Rong Chhun to a meeting of the UN in Geneva in June, the pair told reporters yesterday.

Outside the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Phnom Penh, Ath Thorn, president of Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union, said he had raised concerns with Subedi that the law would give excessive arbitrary state control over trade unions.

“This law restricts the creation [of unions] and when they are already created it makes it easy to destroy them,” he said.

“And when they are destroyed, the leaders of [the unions] face imprisonment.”

Particular attention was drawn, Ath Thorn said, to article 85 of the law, which he said allows the imprisonment of those who obstructs the operation of a business.

Om Mean, secretary of state of at the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training defended the draft law yesterday, saying continuing debate within the government was intended to ensure the law struck the right balance between the interests of unions, employees and employers.

Rong Chhun and Ath Thorn said they also raised concerns at yesterday’s meeting over workers from 13 factories who had been refused permission to return to work after participating in garment strike in September last year that involved tens of thousands of employees. Surya Subedi could not be reached for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia’s image problem

    In opening remarks at a recent event, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luy David said information can be a double-edged sword. He told a European Institute of Asian Studies (EIAS) briefing seminar that the media has unfairly presented

  • PM Hun Sen says dangers averted

    Delivering a campaign speech from his home via Facebook Live on Thursday, caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen said his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) had carried the country through danger in its latest mandate. He was specifically referring to the threat of a “colour revolution”

  • Kingdom's trade deal with EU questioned before poll

    A European Union (EU) mission met with senior government officials at the Ministry of Interior on Tuesday as the 28-member bloc monitors an agreement under which Cambodian goods reach the crucial European market tariff-free. Some 10 commissioners are in the Kingdom as part of a seven-day

  • A new carrier takes off in capital

    Cambodia Airways, the latest passenger airline to enter the Kingdom, launched its first domestic flight on Tuesday. Flight KR801, carrying 145 passengers, left the Phnom Penh International Airport at 9:50am and landed in Siem Reap at 10:35am in an Airbus A319. Cambodia Airways marketing and branding