The Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union yesterday appealed to Kandal provincial military police to free two members who were arrested for allegedly instigating violence outside the QMI factory in Ang Snuol district earlier this month.
A CCAWDU statement claimed that the two were set upon by members of the factory’s in-house union when they went to visit it, leading to the violence.
It said that its two members had gone to the factory on May 7 to recruit members and accused QMI union members of initiating the violence.
“We suspect that the factory’s union leaders plotted to have our members arrested because the management called police to break up the violence and its union members were released while ours were detained,” the statement said.
Ath Thorn, CCAWDU president, yesterday urged the provincial authorities to review the case.
He said that the violence was started by the other group when the CCAWDU members went to try to recruit factory workers to join it.
Mr Thorn said that police arrested the two CCAWDU members along with two from the factory’s union who were released after they blamed his team for sparking the violence.
“CCAWDU expresses disappointment that its members continue to be detained,” he said. “It is unfair and we cannot accept this.”
Mr Thorn said that his team had merely gone to the factory to encourage QMI workers to join CCAWDU which would fight to promote better working conditions for them.
He noted that when they were near the factory, the other two men from the in-house union came out and confronted them, leading to the violence.
“Why not arrest all those involved in the confrontation instead of only those from my union,” Mr Thorn said. “It looks like officials discriminated against the CCAWDU.”
Yun Sokhum, a District Hall official, yesterday said that the authorities are studying the case.
Provincial military police officers could not be reached for comment yesterday.