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19 Mär 2020

Sotheary Pech, Khmer Times

Cambodia: Unions call on govt. to offer relief fund in support of suspended entertainment workers as measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 intensified

"Unions seek relief fund for suspended KTV, cinema workers", 19 March 2020

Some union federations ... called for the government’s intervention in supporting suspended entertainment workers across the country after establishments were shuttered to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.

The Ministry of Health ... declared the closure of KTV establishments, nightclubs and cinemas as a precautionary response to the surge of coronavirus cases in the country.

Ou Tep Phallin, president of the Cambodian Food and Service Workers Federation, said ... the union supports the government’s adoption of widespread prevention and control measures to protect the public’s wellbeing.

However, she noted about 80,000 workers of such establishments – most of which employ women – have borne the brunt of the nationwide closures...

“The federation asked the government to intervene and also banks and microfinance institutions for a delay in payment of debts and interests for the affected workers,” added Ms Tep Phallin.

..., Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, said: “The suspensions will obviously put a dent on the finances of the workers in this [entertainment] sector. So, during this difficult situation, I ask the head of the government to provide an emergency relief fund for the workers to ease their difficulties.”

Ms Chhanseng, an entertainment service worker in Phnom Penh, said she, ..., are currently grappling with the effects of the temporary work suspension.

Ms Chhanseng furthered: “It is also difficult to find another job, especially when we don’t have the proper skillset for other available jobs...

Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour could not be reached for comment...