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Cambodian and Philippine youth fight against precarious work

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29 May, 2024With widespread and increasing use of contract work, young unionists in Cambodia and the Philippines are determined to fight the trend.

Youth leaders in Cambodia are concerned that the uncontrolled use of fixed duration contracts by employers is severely undermining young workers’ job security and willingness to join trade unions, with contracts were either terminated or not renewed after the formation of a union.

“The IndustriALL Cambodian Youth Committee (ICYC) will meet regularly to monitor cases of violation, we will organize a campaign on anti-union discrimination involving young workers and fixed duration contracts. We will also work together with the federations to provide labour law training on workers’ rights to young workers,”

said ICYC president Phorng Bunthim at the IndustriALL Cambodia Youth Leadership training on 7-8 May in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The ICYC was established and is helmed by Phorng Bunthim and vice president Tuon Saren. The leadership training was supported by Union to Union and Swedish affiliates.

In a separate IndustriALL Philippine youth leadership meeting on 15 May in Manila, Philippines, 19 youth representatives from IndustriALL affiliates identified rampant contractualization and subcontracting as among the top reasons for low union density in the Philippines.

“We call on the Philippine government to tackle the issue of contractualization that does not guarantee young workers stable employment and income. The IPYC will send letters to the Congress president and related committees to express our support to the Security of Tenure Bill tabled by some Congress representatives. The despicable contract practice must be eliminated permanently,”

said Jean Faye Daguman, co-chair of IndustriALL youth working group in South East Asia, East Asia and Pacific (SEA2PAC-Youth).

Said Ramon Certeza, IndustriALL South East Asia regional secretary:

“IndustriALL is committed to empower young unionists including young women as part of the transformative agenda. The regional office will continue to strengthen young unionists’ capacity, build camaraderie of young workers and bring a new energy to the labour movement.”