Cambodia: Workers & NGOs demand reinstatement of union leaders sacked by Manhattan Textile (supplying American company DuPont); companies do not respond
After the nationwide strike in January 2014, Manhattan Textile and Garment (a factory in Kompong Cham province supplying American chemical company DuPont) terminated approximately 107 union leaders and active members of the independent trade union, the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions (CATU). Months of arbitration ensued. Arbitrators ruled that Manhattan Textile had engaged in union discrimination. Manhattan Textile reinstated many of the terminated union members to their positions. On 9 May, 2014, the Arbitration Council issued a binding award that ordered the company to reinstate the union vice president, the treasurer and a union activist. Manhattan Textile did not do so. Since December 2014, workers at Manhattan Textile and Garment factory have been striking. On 31 January 2015, more than 100 workers rallied outside the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on asking the US ambassador to pressure the company into reinstating the three union leaders. The Community Legal Education Center (CLEC), a Cambodian NGO, released a statement expressing its disappointment with the conduct of DuPont and its failure to regulate its supply chain in Cambodia and sent a letter to the Garment Manufactures Association of Cambodia (GMAC) asking for the reinstatement and payment of the union leaders. Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited DuPont and Manhattan Textile to respond, but the companies did not do so.