Migrants told to get permits

July 14th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday called on all undocumented Cambodians in Thailand to register for a legal work permit at one of that country’s newly opened one-stop service centres.

Thailand’s junta began piloting the latest temporary registration centres at the end of June and has since rolled out additional sites countrywide. At the centres, workers are required to undergo background screenings, health checks and purchase health insurance before applying for a permit. …

Sen David
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/migrants-told-get-permits

Getting on the same page

July 14th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

In what is shaping up to be the first of several pivotal garment wage talks, unions are to meet for the first time today to discuss the amount they should request for next year’s minimum wage – but labour leaders and observers say coming to a consensus will be difficult, if not impossible.

Up to 50 representatives of pro-government, pro-opposition, pro-factory and independent unions are scheduled to gather at the Green Palace Hotel in Phnom Penh at 8am. The event was organised by the Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC) and several international labour organisations.

The meeting comes a week before an official two-day workshop of the Ministry of Labour’s Labour Advisory Committee (LAC). Floor wages at the Kingdom’s garment and shoe factories stand at $100 per month. …

Sean Teehan
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/getting-same-page

Factory wage rallies heat up

July 11th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

More than 1,000 workers held a demonstration in front of Ocean Garment factory in the capital yesterday, burning tyres and blocking the road in protest against the management’s refusal to abide by a ruling that workers be paid in full for a one-month closure.

On May 24, Ocean management announced to employees that the factory would close until June 26, and that workers would be paid $15 for the intervening period.

After the Arbitration Council ruled on Wednesday that the factory – which remains closed – must pay employees their full salaries for the month (at least $100 per worker), Ocean wrote in a letter that it would not follow the ruling and intended to pay workers just $50 for that month. …

Mom Kunthear
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/factory-wage-rallies-heat

Workers win seniority pay

June 30th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

A six-month standoff that eventually halted a box factory’s production ended on Friday, when managers of the factory in the capital’s Por Sen Chey district paid seniority bonuses to almost 150 former employees.

Harta Packaging Industries paid bonuses of between $500 and $4,000 to a total of 145 former workers after an agreement was reached at the Ministry of Labour on Thursday, So Pheakdey, Harta’s administrative manager, said yesterday.

Payments came after more than 200 former workers and unionists had blocked the shipments in and outside the factory since the previous Saturday. …

Mom Kunthear
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/workers-win-seniority-pay

‘Enough jobs’ here, but lure of Thailand abides

June 30th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

As Thailand today opens another fast-track visa office along the border in the hope of reversing the ongoing exodus of workers, Cambodia continues clamouring to find jobs for the returning migrants.

The Ministry of Labour remained adamant yesterday that there are enough open positions in the Kingdom to employ all the repatriated workers. But the National Employment Agency has so far identified just 37,000 job vacancies potentially suitable for nearly 250,000 returned workers. …

Phak Seangly
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/%E2%80%98enough-jobs%E2%80%99-here-lure-thailand-abides

Better protection entertained

June 18th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Workers in an industry where obnoxious, drunk customers and 12-hour shifts are common could gain legal safeguards if a subdecree brought before a Ministry of Labour committee yesterday passes into law.

The set of prakases for entertainment workers – which appeared before the Labour Advisory Committee (LAC) but was not signed – would legally protect them from exploitative practices such as sexual harassment and forced overtime work without additional pay. …

Sean Teehan
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/better-protection-entertained

Domestic worker day to see maids rally for rights

June 16th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

About 100 domestic workers planned to gather today in front of the Ministry of Labour to mark International Domestic Workers Day by calling on the government to do more to ensure their rights.

Vun Samphors, president of the Cambodian Domestic Workers Network (CDWN), told the Postthat participants planned to submit a petition to the ministry. …

Mom Kunthear
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/domestic-worker-day-see-maids-rally-rights

Confidence for plan low

June 13th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Union officials and the garment sector’s factory association said yesterday they supported a new program meant to enhance relations between employers and employees, but remained sceptical of how effective it would be.

In a ceremony yesterday, the Ministry of Labour inaugurated the program, which entails training sessions and meetings about conflict resolution, in an attempt to avoid disputes from escalating into strikes. …

Sean Teehan
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/confidence-plan-low

Ocean workers pray for jobs

June 11th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Protesting workers at Ocean Garment factory say they are worried the manufacturer, which has suspended operations for one month, will close altogether.

About 20 per cent of Ocean’s 1,300 workers demanding full payment during the break have found work elsewhere, while longtime employees are literally praying for a palatable solution, said Houn Vanna, a representative of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW). …

Mom Kunthear
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/ocean-workers-pray-jobs

Factory faintings back on rise

June 4th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

More than 600 workers have fainted on factory floors so far this year, compared with about 800 such incidents over the whole of 2013, a Labour Ministry official said yesterday.

Pok Vanthat, deputy director of the ministry’s labour health department and head of a committee that aims to prevent fainting in factories, told the Post that as of June 3, 663 workers have blacked out on the job, compared with 823 faintings recorded last year. …

Chhay Channyda
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/factory-faintings-back-rise

Protest blocked: Workers at factory seek full salaries

June 4th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Police yesterday morning blocked more than 1,000 garment workers as they tried to march from their Por Sen Chey district factory to the Ministry of Labour to plead for intervention.

Management at the Ocean Garment factory informed staff on May 24 that it would close for one month beginning May 26 due to insufficient orders, said Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, which represents workers there. …

Mom Kunthear
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/protest-blocked-workers-factory-seek-full-salaries

ILO attacks trade union law

May 29th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

An International Labour Organization official yesterday called the draft of a Ministry of Labour trade union law “a step backwards” during the opening of a two-day workshop meant to hear concerns of both labour unions and employers.

In a speech to worker representatives, members of the garment industry and the government, ILO industrial relations expert James Ritchotte expressed misgivings at the Labour Ministry’s failure to address many issues that ILO staff – who acted as technical advisers in drafting the proposed legislation – pointed out as problematic. …

Mom Kunthear and Sean Teehan
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/ilo-attacks-trade-union-law

Twenty put end to latest Caltex strike

May 26th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Petrol station workers who were back on strike on Friday returned to work yesterday as they prepare to file a complaint to the Ministry of Labour against US-owned Caltex over alleged rights abuse.

Yoeun Reth, one of 20 Caltex workers striking on Friday, said yesterday that the workers had reluctantly agreed to go back to the pumps. …

Mom Kunthear
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/twenty-put-end-latest-caltex-strike

Caltex strike deal doesn’t hold up

May 20th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

After Caltex managers allegedly reneged on an agreement to pay workers a $20 bonus to suspend a strike for two months, employees say they would only return if the deal is in writing.

In a Friday meeting, the Cambodian Food and Service Workers Federation agreed with Caltex to suspend the strike for two months while the company reviews wages and pays workers the one-time bonus, said Sar Mora, the union’s leader. …

Phak Seangly and Sean Teehan
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/caltex-strike-deal-doesn%E2%80%99t-hold