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Cambodia: Ministry of Labour issue a letter requiring officials to strictly follow the Trade Union Law to facilitate union registration

"Labour officials must follow procedures", 16 January 2019

Labour Minister Ith Samheng ... ordered ministry officials to strictly follow provisions in the Trade Union Law, especially those related to protecting unions, but union leaders have reacted with scepticism.

In a letter ... issued by the ministry yesterday, Mr Samheng outlined procedures on registering unions and instructed officials charged with dealing with labour disputes and inspections, ..., to strictly follow the provisions.

“In order to ensure and improve the freedom of vocational organisations in Cambodia, I am requesting all officials in labour departments to follow the Trade Union Law, especially the implementation of procedures to protect union officials and union leaders,” he said.

Mr Samheng said that officials should not require union leaders to provide information on family members or other personal details, including showing their National Social Security Fund card, when they apply to register a union but should give them a grace period of 45 days to do so.

“Local union leaders also need not come to the ministry to register their unions but can do so through the federation of unions or confederation of unions,” he said.

Pav Sina, Collective Union of Movement of Workers president, ... said that he had just received a copy of Mr Samheng’s instructions and it really shocked him.

“I am really surprised because the letter is dated December 14 and the Labour Ministry just released it this morning,” he said. “It seems as if the ministry did not intend to publish it.”...

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