Three more unionists have been suspended as a result of the violent strikes at a Kampong Speu garment factory in May and June, a Free Trade Union official said yesterday.
Sabrina (Cambodia) Garment Manufacturing factory’s FTU president Sun Vanny, vice-president Sem Sopheak and general secretary Chi Sakla were each stopped by security while trying to return to work on Monday morning, after a five-month absence since the protests.
“I was surprised to find out I was suspended from work without notice,” said Vanny. “I just found out when I went to work on Monday, but they didn’t allow me inside.”
Unbeknownst to them, the three were suspended from work on September 4 for a variety of violations of Cambodia’s Labour Law, including unexcused absences from work, according to the notice, which was signed by Sabrina’s director and filed with Kampong Speu’s provincial labour ministry.
Sabrina officials were not available for comment yesterday.
The trio are part of 16 people facing court charges of inciting violence – that injured workers and police – and destroying property. Sopheak was arrested at the scene of the June 3 demonstration and held in jail for nearly five months. Vanny and Sakla were summonsed to court for questioning in August and released before the pending case against them.
In a separate case in Kandal province, two men organising a chapter of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) were sacked from Meridian Industries Garment (Cambodia) Limited last month, said Kong Athit, C.CAWDU’s vice-president.
Sok Lor, executive director of the Arbitration Council Foundation, yesterday confirmed that C.CAWDU filed a “demand for reinstatement” complaint on November 1, and the council issued an interim return to work order – while they investigate – to workers who began striking as a result of the firings.
A call and email to Meridian went unanswered yesterday.