City Hall Calls On Angkor Beer Promoters to Protest Peacefully

Protest turned violent, with one person in hospital

Phnom Penh City Hall yesterday warned Angkor Beer promoters to protest peacefully until a resolution could be reached on their pay claims, a union representative said.

Protests held by the Angkor Beer promoters turned violent on Tuesday evening, with one promoter hospitalized after protestors clashed with police and company re­­presentatives, according to one of the promoters present at the protest.

Ou Tephalin, vice president of the Cambodian Food and Service Worker’s Federation, said that five Angkor “beer girls” met with Cam­brew Ltd lawyer Sarin Penara and municipal deputy governor Pa So­cheatvong at City Hall yesterday.

“Socheatvong warned the workers not to cause public nuisance or burn car tires during their pro­tests,” Ms Tephalin said.

Beer promoters have been frus­trated with their employer Cam­brew Ltd’s failure to honor a July decision by the Labor Min­istry’s Arbitration Council requiring Cambrew to pay overtime in ar­rears for every weekend day they worked between Nov­ember 2007 and December 2010.

But Y Samphy, communications manager at the Arbitration Council, said Cambrew appealed the Council’s decision.

“The company objected to the arbitral award in July, which means the decision is non-binding and non enforceable,” Mr Phy said.

“If there cannot be a resolution reached between the parties, the only other mechanism would be for one of the parties to file a complaint with the municipal court,” said Mr Phy yesterday.

Beer promoter Yoeun Sry Mom, 25, was discharged from Bayon Clinic in Chamkar Mon district late Tuesday night and was recovering after falling unconscious during the protest earlier that day.

“I feel better, but I am still tired,” Ms Srey Mom said yesterday. “I have a sore throat and it is dif­ficult to breathe.”

Am Sam Ath, technical supervisor for rights group Licadho, said Cambrew should solve the wage dispute with their workers “as soon as possible.”

“This is not much money to pay the workers,” said Mr Sam Ath, adding that a long-running dispute could lead to more violence.

    (Additional reporting by Bridget Di Certo)


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