IndustriALL Executive Committee joins a trade union and civic society rally in Phnom Penh in December 2015.

Trade unionists in Cambodia are calling for amendments to the draft trade union law.

Deep concern over Cambodian trade union law


IndustriALL Global Union has written to the Cambodian Prime Minister expressing its deep concern over a proposed trade union law that is set to pass through parliament. 

The draft bill has come under steep criticism from unionists, the International Trade Union Confederation, as well as the International Labour Organization (ILO) for creating restrictions that could be used to strangle trade unions in the country.  

IndustriALL, which has ten garment worker unions in Cambodia, says its affiliates are alarmed over several clauses in the bill and want the law to include more workers.

Not only does the new law place severe restrictions on the right to strike, but unions awaiting registration would be unable to act. 

The new law would mean that if elected leaders act illegally, the entire union could be dissolved. It also places unreasonable demands on financial audits of the unions, which could easily be manipulated to harass and impoverish them.

Furthermore, the maximum sanctions against employers are so low as to be powerless (at US$1,250), while for trade unions they could be fatal. 

In a letter to the Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen, IndustriALL general secretary, Jyrki Raina, said:

“IndustriALL Global Union urges the Cambodian government to again consult meaningfully with trade unions and ensure that any proposed trade union law is consistent with ILO Conventions 87 and 98 prior to any vote on its adoption. Any law which does not fully respect these rights will just meet with domestic and international opposition and attention.”

IndustriALL held its Executive Committee meeting in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh in December 2015 in solidarity with its garment union affiliates in the country.