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29 Sep 2020

Khy Sovuthy, CamboJA

Cambodia: Hotel uses private security guards to prevent ongoing strike led by dismissed employees & unionists to demand their reinstatement

"Security guards stop ongoing strikes at Siem Reap hotel", 29 September 2020

Le Meridien Angkor Hotel used private guards to prevent workers from holding a strike in the hotel’s compound … after a union representing staff filed a complaint to overturn an injunction issued by the Siem Reap Provincial Court to stop the ongoing strikes.

Ly Linda, president of Le Meridien Angkor Trade Union, said four security guards and one police officer stopped a group of more than 30 members of the hotel’s staff from entering the grounds to hold a strike, which they have been organizing daily for months.

“The hotel used security guards to ban workers from entering the hotel’s compound to strike and the hotel invited those security guards to have lunch in the hotel, so this display is a psychological threat to make employees afraid to come out to join the strike,” Linda said.

Hotel staff have been protesting … after Le Meridien Angkor terminated three union members who they accused of inciting workers, after the three collected thumbprints asking that staff salaries be reduced by a smaller percentage in the wake of declining tourism due to Covid-19…

The dispute was then sent to the Arbitration Council to solve ... According to hotel management, the council abandoned the case because the union failed to attend discussions that day.

Union leaders said they did not attend because they wanted their case to be heard as a collective dispute, and were concerned that the council would insist on dividing the case as the provincial labor department had done previously…