Plan to ‘end factory strife’

Plan to ‘end factory strife’

A new programme has been launched to improve industrial relations between garment factories and unions.

The initiative announced yesterday was put together by the International Labour Organization (ILO), European clothing giant H&M, and a number of other partners.

The initiative hopes to “improve the unions’ ability to genuinely represent workers” by offering training to both factories and unionists, and to “improve communication and negotiation skills,” the announcement read.

According to ILO national project coordinator Veyara Chhieu, the training will include education on labour laws to equip stakeholders "with all these necessary skills so they can engage in more meaningful collective process of negotiating agreements”.

The garment industry has been hit by a series of strikes in the past year, and Joel Preston, a consultant with the Community Legal Education Centre, was sceptical that the programme would catch on.

“Previous examples of similar efforts have failed pretty miserably. I think it would be fantastic, but I don’t think it’s very likely,” he said on Friday.

Preston pointed out that to make the new industrial-relations programme work, unions and factory owners would have to act in good faith.

“That’s a reflection of factory owners wanting and needing to make a profit at almost any cost, and the first ones to bear that cost are almost always the workers,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the