Airport Ground Employees Threaten Strike

Workers who handle ground services at Pochentong Airport threatened on Thursday to strike if a dispute between employees and management is not settled.

Employees of Cambodian Air­port Management Services, terminal manager Koy Konika and CAMS general director Adolphe Antoine Lopez met for two hours Thursday, but could not reach an agreement, workers said.

The dispute arises from a May 25 incident when a two-star general’s wife entered a restricted area of the domestic terminal and was told by CAMS staff to leave.

The next day, a CAMS staff member was threatened by the woman’s bodyguards and he did not come to work for two weeks. The staff said they asked terminal manager Koy Kaknika to solve the problem, but she refused.

CAMS is a subcontractor of Societe Concessionnaire de l’Aeroport and handles all ground services at Pochentong. Last year Royal Air Cambodge transferred its lucrative ground services at Poch­entong to the newly formed Airport Dedicated Services, a joint division of RAC and SCA.

Koy Kaknika declined to comment, but Philippe Rose, commercial and development manager for SCA, said the meeting was a “normal, internal” gathering and he believed the problems had been solved.

The CAMS employees, who work for security, the welcome desk, the information desk, porter service and x-ray, asked management to clarify company regulations and the responsibilities of CAMS manager Sok Koy.

A letter addressed to Lopez, CAMS director of operations Denis Leluc and Human Re­source official Sebastian Sugier was signed by 87 workers.

A CAMS employee, who spoke anonymously for fear of being fired, said more than 100 CAMS workers would strike if their concerns are not met.

“If the airport closes, it will affect all local and international flights,” he said. “We are not like garment workers. If we strike, it will have a big effect.”

An official at the Secretariat of Civil Aviation said he had not received official notice of the strike, but heard CAMS workers were unhappy with management.

He said he will notify the Council of Ministers of the dispute and said government officials will appeal to both sides to solve the problem.

(Additional reporting by Gina Chon)


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