Open letter by Community Legal Education Center to Garment Manufactures Association of Cambodia
"Open Letter Deputy Treasurer of GMAC and Others Actively Engaging in Union Discrimination", 24 Dec 2014
In October 2012, the Garment Manufacturers’ Association of Cambodia (GMAC) and Cambodian trade unions entered into a memorandum of understanding which provided that: “In the absence of a collective bargaining agreement the parties shall agree to use the national dispute procedure and accept, where mediation is unable to resolve the issue, binding arbitration for rights disputes... Where an arbitration decision on dispute of rights is given, the employer and workers and their representatives accept that the decision is final and binding on them.”...However, Mr. Larry Kao holds the position of the Deputy Treasurer of the GMAC Executive Council and as well as managing Manhattan Textile and Garment Corp, a garment factory in Kampong Cham producing coveralls for American chemical giant, DuPont...On 9 May, 2014, the Arbitration Council issued a binding award (082/14) that ordered the company to reinstate union vice president, Mr. Phan Chany, union treasurer Mr. Peng Phalla and union activist, Thorn Singhua. Again on 13 August 2014, the Arbitration Council issued a binding award (178/14) that ordered the company to reinstate union activist, Chieu Chea. However, half a year later, Mr. Larry Kao’s Manhattan Textile refuses to accept the union leadership back to work despite binding arbitration awards and the memorandum of understanding that oblige the company to do so. Further, the Arbitration Council (033/14) ordered payment of indemnity and severance for another three union members, none of whom have yet received this payment. The lack of respect for the binding arbitration awards issued against Manhattan Textile is shows the extent of the company’s intention to engage in blatant union discrimination. We call for immediate reinstatement and payment in the aforementioned cases and remind all that based on the above mentioned violations the employer is potentially liable to a fine of sixty one to ninety days of the base daily wage and to imprisonment of six days to one month, or to one of the both penalties, as per Article 373 of the Labor Law (1997).