The Labour Ministry’s Committee for the Settlement of Strikes and Demonstrations held its first meeting of 2020 on Friday.
Ith Samheng, Minister of Labour and also the committee’s chairman, led the meeting and said he is proud of the progress the board has made so far at both national and provincial levels. The committee, first formed in 1998, has already successfully implemented the roles and duties of the government. This includes the rolling out of a plan, created between 2016-2019, to regulate the prevention and resolution of strike and demonstrations in all fields.
“[The plan gives guidelines] to provincial governors about the government’s regulations concerning the maintenance of public security and public order within factories, enterprises and special economic zones, to help implement them in their provinces,” Mr Samheng noted.
Mr Samheng said that the government backs the rights of citizens to protest in accordance with the law.
“Indeed, the Committee for the Settlement of Strikes and Demonstrations has made a significant contribution to the maintenance of peace, social order and the strengthening of the rule of law for the welfare of the people,” he said, adding that Cambodia continues to move forward in the path of democracy, ensuring that the rule of law, freedom of press and expression, the rights of political parties, civil society and trade unions are respected and protected.
In last Friday’s meeting, Mr Samheng said that the committee still has work to do. This includes carrying out its responsibility to keep the order, ensure peace, political stability and prevent illegal activities, while maintaining a political environment in line with the government’s directive. The plan is due to be revised and sharpened for 2020-2024.
However, Heng Sour, a spokesman for the Labour Ministry, commented yesterday that the meeting did not address the potential suspension of some factory workers later his month due to the shortage of raw material from China caused by COVID-19.
“Our problem right now is we have difficulty to find a labour force for the private sector. We need more than 150,000 labour workers throughout the country until December, 2020,” Mr Sour noted.
He could not share the official figures for strikes and demonstrations that happened in 2019. The information is due to be disseminated this week at the Labour Ministry’s annual meeting.