Unionist Ath Thorn yesterday announced that labour rights organisations will hold an advocacy meeting with the government today to discuss the amendment of articles in the Trade Union Law deemed restrictive to union freedom.
The Trade Union Law took effect in 2016, but unions have decried some articles.
Mr Thorn, who is president of the Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, yesterday said he was ready to advise the government to amend the 10 articles.
“Some articles in this law are restrictive and limit the rights of unions,” Mr Thorn said. “The International Labour Organisation has proposed changes in the past, but there has been no change by the government.”
“By the end of 2018, the government had drafted a roadmap to serve as a reminder that some articles are going to be revised,” he added.
Mr Thorn said that the Cambodian Labour Confederation had also submitted a proposal to amend some of the articles in January.
He noted that in February, the Council of Ministers issued a letter to the Labour Ministry to agree to discuss amending 10 articles.
Yesterday, Labour Minister Ith Samheng defended his ministry by saying that the government has been doing its best to help unions.
“Some unions know that some of their complaints were resolved in court,” Mr Samheng said. “The government provides legal assistance to them.”
Regarding the meeting, he added that he was eager to negotiate with unions regarding the Trade Union Law.
“We will discuss the amendments of the articles. Not all articles proposed must be amended, we have to listen together,” Mr Samheng said. “Negotiate until we have reached an agreement.”
He added that the enactment of the Trade Union Law in 2016 was a national achievement geared towards the interest of workers.
Mr Samheng noted that by the end of the first quarter this year, 4,949 labour organisations have been registered at his ministry.