Contested Trade Union Law Slated for Vote in Assembly

The CPP appears set to pass a controversial trade union law next month despite conceding it is “not 100 percent perfect” and failing to address a litany of objections from unions, employers and the opposition party.

Following a meeting between the National Assembly’s permanent committee and legislation commission Friday morning, ruling party lawmaker Cheang Vun said the law would be put to a vote in the CPP-majority Parliament on April 4.

Mr. Vun, the CPP’s spokesman in the Assembly, said there would be no more changes to the law, which was adjusted slightly this week following a meeting with union leaders, employer representatives, government officials and labor rights experts.

“If we changed [the law] to meet demands by workers and unions, it will cause problems with investors and they will withdraw their capital,” Mr. Vun said.

“This law on trade unions is not 100 percent perfect,” he said, going on to defend the bill, which sets new rules for forming, running and dissolving unions.

“It’s beneficial because there are so many unions and we think that makes investors afraid,” Mr. Vun said.

Yem Ponhearith, a CNRP spokesman and permanent committee member, said the opposition did not support the decision to put the current draft up for a vote, but that the CPP insisted on pushing ahead.

Ath Thorn, president of the country’s largest independent union, said his members would gather on April 4 to protest against the law, which he said would hurt workers by limiting their right of association.

“We regret that the National Assembly did not address our concerns and rushed to schedule a session to approve this law,” he said. “There will be a protest. Even though we don’t have the influence to stop the National Assembly, we want to show the concern of workers as well as unions.”

[email protected]

Related Stories

Latest News