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2 Jul 2020

Long Kimmarita, Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia: Union leader warned over alleged role in organising factory protest over unpaid wages & benefits

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""Union head warned over factory protest", Phnom Penh Post, 2 July 2020"

The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training... issued a warning letter to the Cambodian Confederation of Unions (CCU) president Yang Sophorn for her alleged role in organising a factory protest in Sen Sok district the same day.

Hundreds of factory workers from Violet Apparel (Cambodia) Co Ltd protested in front of the factory in O’Bek Ka’am commune, causing a roadblock. The workers demanded benefits from the company, which has declared bankruptcy.

The letter stated: “This union president led and incited factory workers to threaten and pressure employers for their wages, which is illegal according to labour law.” The ministry’s Department of Labour Dispute director Chrun Theravong said... “After receiving the letter, she [Sophorn] has to stop her actions. If she does not follow the warning letter, her union will be sued and face the law,” he said.

Sophorn said she helped the workers because she had suffered injustices as well. As the CCU president, she said she must help workers demand their benefits.

“I did not incite or push workers to do any illegal acts. They just demanded their benefits from the factory, which is required to provide it to them by law,” she said.

She said she was unhappy with the warning letter and will stand firm as president of the CCU to continue protecting the rights of workers by demanding benefits legally...