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Ministry accepts tourism, agriculture workers’ petitions

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
Union leader Ath Thorn leads the demonstration yesterday. KT/Siv Channa

The Labour Ministry yesterday accepted petitions submitted by tourism and agricultural workers’ federations and said it would consider demands stipulated in the documents after discussing them with experts.

Heng Sour, spokesman for the Labour Ministry, yesterday confirmed that the ministry accepted the petitions submitted by presidents of the Cambodian Tourism and Services Workers Federation and the Cambodian Agricultural Workers Federation, which demanded better working conditions and workplace safety.

He added that the ministry will send the petitions to experts and relevant stakeholders to examine and consider the contents.

“We already accepted their petitions as part of our administrative regulation,” Mr Sour said. “The freedom of expression is the right of everyone and this [Monday] morning, their gathering at the ministry was conducted orderly and responsibly without causing any traffic chaos.”

About 100 members of the CTSWF and CAWF, including those who came from the provinces, gathered in front of the Labour Ministry in Phnom Penh yesterday to submit petitions representing each organisation to minister Ith Samheng.

The gathering ran smoothly and was not stopped by authorities, despite City Hall previously warning against the planned protest. Police officers oversaw the gathering to ensure public order.

The petitions submitted were addressed to Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Labour Ministry and the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry.

Morm Rithy, CTSWF president, yesterday said that he will keep track of the progress with the Labour Ministry following the submission of its petition, noting that he will take action if the petition did not yield any result this year.

“We hope that the ministry will pay attention to our petition and we also expect to get positive feedback from the ministry on what we had asked the ministry to do this year,” Mr Rithy said.

He added that if there is still no response from the ministry by September or October, he will discuss with his working group on the next steps to take.

Mr Rithy said he demanded that the ministry set a minimum wage of $300 per month for workers in the tourism and service sectors and set a minimum of 10 percent for service charge.

“Workers in tourism and service still receive a low wage, which is between $80 and $120 per month,” he said. “I’m not expecting very much in the way of a response from Labour Minister Ith Samheng and Prime Minister Hun Sen to find a solution for our workers.”

“However, I think if they have the ambition, they would help us as they did to the garment and footwear industry,” he added.

Heng Choeun, CAWF president, yesterday said that he demanded four points for agricultural workers, including on the use of short-term contracts, minimum wage, health and workplace safety, as well as freedom of creating a union.

“We want the Prime Minister and the Labour Minister to eliminate the use of short-term contracts for our workers, they should have long-term contracts,” Mr Choeun said, adding that he also demanded the Labour Minister to set a minimum wage of $300 per month for workers in the agricultural sector this year.

Ath Thorn, president of Cambodian Labour Confederation, yesterday said he attended the gathering in show of support, adding that the confederation will help to facilitate similar movements for other sectors as well.

“Only the garment and footwear sector has a minimum wage set, but other sectors such as construction, tourism and service, as well as agriculture do not have a minimum wage,” Mr Thorn said.

He said that he wanted the government to set a minimum wage for all sectors.

អត្ថប្រយោជន៍ សរុប ៥ចំនុច

ក្រុមអ្នកតំណាងសហព័ន្ឋសហជីព កម្មករ និយោជិកប្រមាណ១៥០នាក់ មកពី វិស័យកសិកម្ម វិស័យទេសចរណ៍ និងសេវាកម្ម បានដាក់ញ្ញត្តិទាមទារអត្ថប្រយោជន៍ សរុប ៥ចំនុច នៅមុខក្រសួងការងារ។ ពួកគាត់បានអះអាងថា កម្មករក្នុងវិស័យទាំងពីរនេះ ទទួលរងនូវការកេងប្រវ័ញ្ច ពីថៅកែក្រុមហ៊ុន ខណៈប្រាក់ខែរបស់ពួកគាត់ មិនអាចផ្គត់ផ្គង់ជីវិតរស់នៅអោយបានសមរម្យ។

Posted by ខ្មែរថាមស៍ – Khmer Times on Tuesday, 16 July 2019

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