As the director of one of Cambodia’s largest breweries, Malaysian businessman Goh Nan Kioh has made millions selling Angkor Beer to Cambodians.
But now his latest business venture, a controversial mainstream Mekong dam in Laos, is drawing the ire of environmentalists who believe that it will be detrimental to Cambodia’s fisheries, which are the main protein source for Cambodians living downstream.
Khoo Teng Keat, executive director of Mega First Corporation Bhd—the Malaysian company in charge of building the Don Sahong dam in Laos—confirmed Wednesday that Mr. Goh is both the executive chairman of Mega First and the director for Cambodian beverage giant Cambrew Ltd., which produces the popular Angkor Beer. …
According to the company’s website, Cambrew assumed control of Angkor Brewery in 1991, and has since grown to produce other beers, including Angkor Extra Stout, Black Panther and Klang Beer. Mr. Goh is also listed as the chairman of Cambrew with the Ministry of Commerce.
For Mega First, the 260-MW Don Sahong dam would be the first hydropower development undertaken by the Malaysian investment company, which has in the past focused on power plants and extractive industries.
Located about a kilometer away from the Cambodia-Laos border in an area known as Khone Falls —where islands and water channels are braided together on the Mekong mainstream—the Don Sahong dam could block the migratory passages of Mekong River fish and lead to the extinction of the Irrawaddy Dolphin and the Giant Mekong Catfish, environmentalists say. …
Beer promoters in Phnom Penh claimed Monday that they are being discriminated against for staging a month-long strike last summer, and their livelihoods are under threat.
In July and August, hundreds of promoters for Cambrew Ltd – which produces and distributes Angkor beer – went on strike after the company refused to pay 34 female promoters overtime, despite a ruling by the Arbitration Council in favour of the workers.
More than six months after the dispute was resolved, with the company agreeing to pay the overtime, the company is trying to “isolate and punish” members of the Cambodian Food and Service Workers Federation, which started the strike, the union’s president, Sar Mora, claimed on Monday. …
Simon Lewis and Kuch Naren, P. 21
Angkor Beer promoters yesterday rejected an offer from the municipality that would have required them to suspend their strike while officials negotiated a solution for them, telling Phnom Penh’s deputy governor that their protest is legal and that their employer is breaking the law. More than 30 women have been striking for almost two working weeks to pressure the company, Cambrew, to pay them US$2-a-day overtime when they work on Sundays, following a July 7 decision by the Arbitration Council that said Cambrew was legally obligated to do so. Cambrew executive Chou Choung Kim said the company would resolve the dispute today. He said the same thing on Tuesday.
(By May Titthara, pg. 4)
Phnom Penh City Hall yesterday warned Angkor Beer promoters to protest peacefully until a resolution could be reached on their pay claims, a union representative said. Protests held by the Angkor Beer promoters turned violent on Tuesday evening, with one promoter hospitalized after protestors clashed with police and company representatives, according to one the promoters present at the protest. Beer promoters have been frustrated with their employer Cambrew Ltd’s failure to honor a July decision by the Labor Ministry’s Arbitration Council requiring Cambrew to pay overtime in arrears for every weekend day they worked between November 2007 and December 2010.
(By Phok Dorn, pg.24)
Carlsberg has said it is investigating a strike by Angkor beer promoters, who yesterday vowed to continue in their bid for fair treatment. More than 30 beer promoters have been striking since last Monday, accusing Angkor brewer Cambrew of refusing to pay overtime despite a July 7 ruling by the Arbitration Council that it was legally required to do so. The women, who usually promote the brand in restaurants and nightspots, have been handing out leaflets calling for the public to boycott it instead.
(By Mom Kunthear and Vincent MacIsaac, pg. 4)
Police have told beer promoters protesting outside Cambrew Ltd. offices in Phnom Penh to quiet down as their strike goes into the third day. The strikers who promote Angkor Beer are asking that the brewery honor a decision by the Arbitration Council to award them an additional $2 each for work on the weekends. The police have ordered the women to cease using loudspeakers and drums.
(By May Titthara, pg. 4)
According to more than 30 Angkor Beer promoters who are protesting Cambrew Ltd’s failure to comply to an Arbitration Council ruling, the company has threatened them with firings. The protestors plan on continuing the strike until the company meets their demands. The Cambodian Food and Service Workers’ Federation claims that Cambrew Ltd has broken the law by threatening to fire the women for joining a union or continuing the protest.
(By Phok Dorn, pg. 24)
Angkor Beer promoters held a protest outside of Cambrew Ltd in Phnom Penh in order to receive more overtime pay on the weekends, following an Arbitration Council order that the company pay each employee $2 more and Angkor Beer’s failure to do so. The 30 or so protestors said they would protest until the Arbitration Council’s order was met and they were provided with unlimited work contracts for employees who had been with the company for more than two years. According to the Cambodian Food and Service Worker’s Federation vice president, Ou Tephalin, the company has violated labor law by not paying the additional $2.
(By Khuon Narim, pg. 25)