Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Unions unite on draft law

Unions unite on draft law

Unions unite on draft law

A COALITION of seven unions issued a joint statement yesterday warning the Ministry of Labour that they would refuse to support the Kingdom’s draft union law if the government continues to ignore their recommendations for it.

The statement, addressed to Labour Minister Vong Soth, claims that union recommendations on the law have been ignored, creating an excessively restrictive piece of legislation.

“We will boycott and will not sign on [to] this draft law on unions,” the statement said. “[We will] advocate at the national and international levels…[and] organise huge strikes or peaceful demonstrations to oppose the law on unions, which restricts the freedom of unions.”

Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, which endorsed the statement, said yesterday that the draft union law – which comprises 17 chapters and 91 articles - will be finalised on July 12 following discussions among the ministry, employers and unions before being sent to the Council of Ministers for approval.

He added that union representatives had previously requested that the ministry amend certain articles and remove others considered “strict”, but that the ministry has ignored the requests.

“I think this law is only in favour of the employers,” Rong Chhun said. “To me, this law is not necessary because the labour law already covers unions. If the government thinks it is necessary then we will not object, but some parts of the law must be amended.”

Oum Mean, secretary of state at Ministry of Labour, declined comment yesterday.

Ken Loo, secretary general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, said yesterday that he had not seen the union statement.

“This is the draft law and it is intended to be sent to the Council of Ministers and the National Assembly,” he said, noting that recommendations from the International Labour Organisation had been incorporated in the draft. “It is not for the unions or the employers to approve - we have no right to approve anything.”

A number of unions and civil society organisations have called for an overhaul of the draft union law, claiming that the legislation gives too much authority to the state over the registration, suspension and dissolution of unions.

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty