29 May, 2020Cambodian unionist Soy Sros was released on 28 May, after being detained without trial for nearly two months. She was jailed for a post on social media criticizing her employer, Superl Cambodia Ltd, for suspending union members, including a pregnant woman.
Cambodian union Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW) fought to have their local union president released, supported by a LabourStart campaign and international solidarity.
CUMW president Pav Sina says:
“While we welcome the release, CUMW stresses that the government must drop all investigations on Soy Sros. Superl Cambodia Ltd must immediately reinstate her with full back pay, benefits and damage compensation.
“We call on the company to respect the union leader’s free speech and her role as a worker representative.”
In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak and factory shutdowns, Soy Sros was fighting for the rights of CUMW members, including a pregnant woman, as Superl Cambodia Ltd. announced that their employment contracts would not be renewed on 2 April.
Criticizing the company on Facebook for failing to follow the advice of the Cambodian Prime Minister with regards to dismissing workers, Soy Sros was arrested the following day.
IndustriALL Global Union sent letters to Superl Cambodia Ltd and brands producing at the factory, urging all parties to respect CUMW leader’s freedom of expression and to withdraw the police report. An international campaign calling for her release was launched on 15 May.
IndustriALL South East Asia regional director Annie Adviento says:
“IndustriALL has been very concerned about Soy Sros’ deteriorating health while in detention. She now has access proper medical treatment. The right to health is a human right.
“We thank everyone around the world for their solidarity actions; Soy Sros’ release shows that we can make a change when we are united.”