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17 Mar 2022

Sorn Sarath& Sovann Sreypich, CamboJA

Cambodia: NagaWorld's labour dispute remains unresolved as Govt. and company recognise new union formation

"Labor rights group sees bad faith in recognition of new NagaWorld union amidst labor dispute", 17 March 2022

While the Labor Ministry has recognized a new trade union at NagaWorld, rights groups warn the little-known organization could obstruct negotiations to end the beleaguered casino company’s ongoing labor dispute.

…, the Ministry recognized the registration of a new union purportedly representing NagaWorld workers.

The recognition came …, the same day as the release on bail of eight NagaWorld union leaders who had been kept for months in pretrial detention. That group included Chhim Sithar, president of the Labor Rights Supported Union (LRSU), which is the original collective bargaining unit that has held the ongoing strike.

Sithar and other LRSU members believe the new union was quickly approved in order to undercut their own group’s influence…

Khun Tharo, program manager of the rights group Central, wants to see the court drop charges against all union members. He said their release on bail is just a tactic to pressure the strikers for reconciliation or negotiation.

“There is no legal basis for any charges against them and the bail is still put [them] in pressure,” he said.

Tharo said the newly established union would downsize the voice of independent unions…

… In a … meeting with the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Cambodia, Interior Minister Sar Kheng said he has been pushing for talks to resolve NagaWorld’s labor dispute. He met last week with police and government officials to discuss the conflict, and said the release on bail of union leaders was also part of his push to seek further negotiations under the coordination of the Labor Ministry…