After eight months of negotiations, the union representing workers at Himawari Hotel Apartments, formerly MiCasa Hotel Apartments, says it will call on travelers to boycott the hotel unless four workers who were dismissed on March 24 are rehired.
“If the hotel declines to negotiate to reinstate the union members, we will ask the international customers to boycott the hotel starting Christmas Day,” said Cambodian Tourism and Service Workers Federation President Ly Korm.
The union alleges the management dismissed Sok Thol, Kram Sok Heang, Ean Kimhun and Oul Srey Vuthnea the day before elections for union representatives, Ly Korm said. The four men had been instrumental in organizing a union at the hotel.
“I think the hotel is discriminating against the union being in the hotel,” Ly Korm said, adding it is illegal under the Labor Law to fire a staff member for their involvement in a union. He said the union had been hoping since March that the hotel would offer an amicable solution, which is why they didn’t take action sooner.
Fired staff member Sok Thol said Wednesday that he wanted the hotel to rehire him and the other three workers and reimburse their salaries from March 24.
But Seng Vouch Hun, the lawyer representing Himawari, said the four workers were not union members when they were dismissed and the hotel has the union application documents to prove it.
But she said the hotel was hopeful the two parties could come to an agreement and avoid a strike or another action. “I am trying to negotiate with the parties,” Seng Vouch Hun said.
A manager at the hotel who asked not to be identified said the four workers were dismissed for poor performance. In addition, he said the union had not been formed at the time and the appropriate documentation was only submitted three days later. He said the workers had been offered compensation and they were free to collect it whenever they wanted.