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Union calls for better policies for workers

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Unionist Ath Thorn delivers a speech. KT/Siv Channa

The National Trade Unions Coalition late last week sent a letter to Labour Minister Ith Samheng requesting to hold a meeting this Wednesday to raise the plight of workers during the pandemic.

NTUC council chamber leader and Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union president Ath Thorn last Thursday said the letter contained a detailed account of difficulties currently faced by garment workers and a nine-point recommendation to ease such burdens.

Among the recommendations in the letter were a request for a higher minimum wage for workers under the garment, footwear, construction and service sectors.

The union also called for the suspension of the amendment on Article 144 of the Labour Law regarding the reduction of night shift benefits, which was initially at 130 percent of the normal hourly salary, to 100 percent and Article 162 on the cancellation of weekly dayoffs.

A review on the social security scheme on pensions must also be conducted as well as the expansion of the NSSF to other sectors, including construction and handicraft. A six-month extension for the payment of interest and the principal amount of loans from banks and micro-financial institutions was also sought.

Other requests include employers’ continued provision of accommodation to suspended and laid-off workers, especially those from agriculture and construction; cancellation of the announcement which allows employers to shut down operations after a two-month suspension without requiring them to pay compensation to workers; and the cancellation of the Labour Ministry’s decision to postpone payment of seniority indemnity to next year.

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