Ministry result

400 union activists demonstrate in front of the Ministry of Labor

More than 400 members of the Confederation of Trade Unions, Commerce Federation, local unions and associations working in the field of labor in Cambodia gathered in front of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training on the morning of September 11 to submit two proposals. ADHOC CAMBODIA

More than 400 members of the Confederation of Trade Unions, Commerce Federation, local unions and associations working in the field of labor in Cambodia gathered in front of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training on the morning of September 11 to submit two proposals.

The first proposal related to the labor dispute between casino operator NagaWorld Ltd and a group of its former employees who claim they were inappropriately targeted for dismissals because of their union activism.

The group meeting at the ministry requested his intervention with the company on behalf of a total of 150 former NagaWorld employees who are union leaders and members, asking that they return to their jobs with a seniority bonus and Other compensation under labor law as well as all criminal charges against 14 union activists stemming from earlier protests have been dropped.

The second proposal was a request for the ministry to intervene to settle the cases of 31 other union leaders or activists who they claim were improperly dismissed for their labor organizing activities, including seven from the Cambodian Confederation of unions, 19 cases from the Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (CCAWDU), two cases from the Independent Trade Union Alliance, two cases from the Federation of Independent Trade Unions and one case from the MLN Team Apparel Workers’ Rights Union .

In response to these requests, Ministry of Labor spokesperson Heng Sour confirmed on September 11 that all the cases mentioned in the request had already been resolved by professional mediators at the ministry’s departmental level in accordance with procedures for resolving disputes. labor disputes.

“Dispute mediation is based on company-level negotiations if negotiations fail. Either party may request the Minister of Labor to appoint an official to arbitrate the dispute. In the event of a joint labor dispute, the Minister may appoint an official to mediate even without any complaint being filed by either party,” he said.

However, he said that during the mediation period, the workers had to suspend all strikes and the owners had to suspend all lockouts. If the file is still not resolved at the end of the mediation, the conciliator sends the file back to the Arbitration Council if it is a collective labor dispute.

“After the Arbitration Board issues an order, if it is a non-binding order, any party who disagrees must file an objection with the Minister of Labor within eight days. otherwise it will become a binding order. After filing an objection, either party may appeal to the court for further settlement. When a binding order is issued, all parties must immediately comply with that order,” he said.

Separately, in the case of individual disputes, he said that if the officials have completed conciliation and no settlement is reached, either party can file a complaint with the court within two months to continue the mediation and this time the party to the rights clause can appeal before seeking it. To obtain a back-to-work order, the labor inspector or the employer can go to court.

“In all cases of labor disputes, the role of the ministry is to reconcile. The institution that makes the orders after the Ministry is the Arbitration Council. The institution to which the disputing parties must appeal after the Arbitration Board is the court,” Sour said.

The ministry spokesperson instructed those working in labor and professional relations to follow these procedures rather than protesting or striking in the streets, which causes public unrest and can threaten public safety.

Chhim Sithor, president of the Cambodian workers’ rights support union NagaWorld, said their rally at the ministry was aimed at demanding justice, especially in the NagaWorld dispute, which has dragged on for more than a year but has yet to resolve. been resolved.

“There is no solution, only violence against the strikers. We have therefore gathered in front of the Ministry of Labor to be a driving force for law enforcement against businesses in Cambodia, especially labor law.

“We don’t want to protest, we don’t want to take to the streets, but we have no choice. We just want labor rights that ensure Cambodian workers are not unfairly fired,” he said. she stated.

Yang Sophorn, president of the Cambodian Confederation of Trade Unions, said the main objective of the rally was to ask the labor ministry to intervene with companies that had closed their factories but had not yet paid their workers.

“We are meeting to demand a solution to our joint letter regarding the dismissal of union leaders and deadlocked disputes in the past where the company closed illegally without paying its workers,” she said.

Phnom Penh Municipal Deputy Governor Mean Chanyada, who was on hand to mediate the event and keep the peace, suggested workers and union leaders sit peacefully at the negotiating table and avoid street protests .

“Do not generalize this problem. We want a solution, which we understand must involve debate, but all of you who do this should know that it will not bring a solution.

“I ask you to please interrupt the rally and on September 15 you can continue the negotiations. If you want a solution, you have to meet and discuss with each other, but don’t put pressure on the street, it’s not right,” he said.