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Article

29 Dec 2020

Author:
Khy Sovuthy, CamboJA

Cambodia: Labour Department say union's dissolution due to approval for Le Meridien Angkor Hotel's suspension for at least one year; union claims decision is a mistake

"Union dissolved at shuttered Le Meridien Angkor amid fight for workers’ compensation", 29 December 2020

The Siem Reap Department of Labor agreed to dissolve a workers’ union at the shuttered Le Meridien Angkor Hotel, raising concerns about correct implementation of the law and whether staff will receive almost half a million dollars they claim in unpaid salaries and bonuses.

Le Meridien announced … that it would close for at least one year on account of the COVID-19 pandemic and requested permission to dissolve the in-house union, according to Chan Sokhom Chetta, director of the provincial Department of Labor…

The decision was based on Article 28 of the union law, which states that a unionis automatically dissolved when an establishment closes and when employees have been paid wages and bonuses in full, the letter said…

Le Meridien Angkor Hotel management did not respond to requests for comment.

Touch Kosal, president of the Cambodia Tourism Workers’ Union Federation, said that authorities had erred in their ruling, as Article 28 allows unions to be dissolved in three ways: by members, by courts, or when the company is shut down.

In that the case that the hotel is officially closed, the union can only be dissolved after staff have received bonuses and salaries owed to them, he said, adding that the hotel’s management and legal team had confirmed in meetings that the closure was temporary.

“We can see that the hotel is not officially closed because the hotel has not issued the payment for its staff yet,” he said, adding that about 50 of 140 staff who had received payouts had since filed a complaint with the Labor Department claiming underpayment…

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