Representatives from the Cambodian Confederation of Unions (CCU) and the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions (CATU) – along with trade unions and associations working in the labour sector – announced their intention to celebrate the 137th anniversary of International Workers’ Day on May 1, with about 2,000 marchers.

The announcement was made in an April 10 joint letter addressed to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng.

The letter said the day is an important opportunity to celebrate workers’ rights around the world.

“As 2023 marks the 137th anniversary of International Workers’ Day 1886-2023, we intend to organise the event with the theme ‘Together, to promote labour rights and freedom of trade unions’,” the letter read.

They intend to gather at the CDC Park at 6:30am to march along Sisowath Quay towards the National Assembly, where they will file petitions at 12am.

The signatories include CATU, Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC), the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) and the Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia (BWTUC).

Dor Samphos, head of the Phnom Penh municipal office, confirmed that the Phnom Penh municipal hall had seen the letter.

“The contents of the letter were too broad, and the precise timetable was unclear. Therefore, we have asked the signatories to resubmit their application,” she said.