Unions and civil society rally for voting leave

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Ath Thorn seeks time for voting. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Several more trade unions and civil society organisations have added their voice to calls for factory workers to be given three days off to vote. 

A letter signed by ten groups yesterday urged the Labour Ministry to intervene and order employers to give staff the day off to vote on Sunday, plus a day on either side, to allow people to travel to their home towns. 

The letter said voter participation would suffer unless workers were allowed to take paid leave.

It also asked Labour Minister Ith Samheng to require employers to cover travel expenses for workers going to vote.

Ath Thorn, president of the Cambodian Labour Confederation, said he had been negotiating the extra time off with government and National Election Committee officials, but the authorities had stopped short of issuing a directive on the matter.

“We call on the Labour Ministry to push companies to comply with the proposal,” he said. 

However, Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour said new rules allowed people to vote close to their workplace, rather than having to go home.   

The ministry meanwhile condemned former opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who accused the government of not allowing workers to vote by failing to guarantee the extra days off. 

Mr Rainsy published a video clip on Tuesday, saying he was sad that people weren’t getting more support to vote.

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