(Recast)Cambodia's 64 trade unions urge gov't to take legal action against gangster unions

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, January 22, 2014
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Cambodia's 64 trade unions on Wednesday asked the Minister of Labor Ith Samheng to take serious legal action against some gangster unions that have caused riots and illegal strikes as well as intimidations to their members in protests, according to a joint letter.

"We'd like to suggest the Minister of Labor to take serious legal action against union leaders and someone who have incited and committed violence on workers and innocent people during violent demonstrations in order to enforce the effective implementation of the law," said the letter signed by the leaders of the 64 unions, which represent about 400,000 garment workers.

Som Aun, president of the Cambodian Council of National Union ( CCNU), said that the letter was sent to the Minister of Labor on Wednesday.

"We have got bad experience since Dec. 24 when some trade unions staged protests and their demonstrators went around and destroyed factories' properties in order to force the workers out to join the demonstrations," he said.

"Our request to the Minister is to protect security and safety for the factories and the workers in case of any illegal strikes in the future."

Dispute in the country's garment industry has persisted since late last month when the government decided to increase a minimum wage in the garment sector to 100 U.S. dollars per month from the current 80 U.S. dollars, but six trade unions with their tendencies to the country's main opposition party refused to accept the offer and launched protests to demand the government to double the minimum wage.

The six unions had called protests, leading to two violent clashes earlier this month, leaving four protesters dead, 26 injured and 23 arrested. Following the incidents, the government has temporarily banned all forms of demonstrations in order to restore social security and public order.

The garment and shoe industry comprise more than 900 factories with about 600,000 workers. The sector is the kingdom's largest foreign exchange earner that generated more than 5 billion U.S. dollars in revenues last year. Endi

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