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Cambodian unions demand review of draft laws
17
Mar '11
Leading trade unions from Cambodia have sought of the government to review the draft bill aimed at regulating the trade unions, as they claimed it to be an effort on the part of the government to dilute the labour movement.

The trade unions have threatened to observe countrywide strikes in event of government's failure to review the draft law.

Workers' leaders and activists have asserted that, their suggestions have been completely overlooked while drafting the new law, which if cleared would empower the government to stop protests, dissolve unions, and even stop new bodies from unionising.

However the government claims that, the new law is aimed at safeguarding the rights and interests of the workers, and that it has similar plans for regulating the non-governmental organizations, which have infuriated the rights group and received condemnation from the US.

The draft law provides that, if any third party or government files a complaint against any of the associations or unions, these unions or associations can be suspended or dissolved by court order, and their leaders could be detained for organizing any such strikes or protests which are considered to be unlawful.

Next to agriculture and tourism, the garment industry is the third largest contributor to the $10 billion or £6.2 billion Cambodian economy, where wages constitute to be an important source of income for the rural poor. As such, no less than 21,000 garment workers resorted to strike during last year to demanding pay hike and better working conditions.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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