Union leaders yesterday warned that garment workers and unionists will protest if the 1997 labour law articles are amended to night and day shift workers receiving equal pay.
Last week, Labour Minister Ith Samheng formed a working group with represetation from employers, government and workers tasked with discussing amending the Labour Law articles.
The amendment will include Articles 144, 162 and 300, night-shift and day-shift wages and public holiday policy.
It will also incorporate the scope of the Arbitration Council to resolve an individual dispute in Article 300.
Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, said during the 16th death anniversary of Chea Vichea, former leader of the Free Trade Union of Workers, that he is ready to protest against the amendment as it impacts workers’ benefits.
“The Labour Ministry ammended article 144 by reducing 150 percent of the wages for night-shift workers to 130 percent in 2007. Now it wants to have the same article ammended by reducing 130 percent to 100 percent which is equal to day-shift workers,” Mr Chhun said.
“The amendment will not benefit garment workers,” he said. “Our last choice is to go on strike or demonstrate.”
“I demand the tripartite committee keep the article intact. I want the government to reconsider their decision,” said Ath Thorn, president of Cambodian Labour Confederation.
“The ministry has already clarified that workers currently employed in enterprises or establishments are unaffected by the Labour Law amendments,” said Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour. He added that it is the unions’ right to demonstrate or go on strike.