Two garment factory unions said Monday they will file complaints to the National Assembly and Prime Minister Hun Sen against Minister of Labor Nhep Bunchin, who they say permitted at least 10 union leaders and hundreds of union members to be fired for union activities.
Deputy President Chhorn Sokhan, of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union, which represents workers at 38 factories, and the Free Trade Union vowed Monday to hold a joint demonstration against the minister if he did not address their concerns.
Chhorn Sokhan said that if Nhep Bunchin does not act against factories for illegal firings, she will complain to the International Labor Organization. Then, she said, “I will complain to the National Assembly and Prime Minister Hun Sen.”
Chhorn Sokhan accused Nhep Bunchin of not preventing the firings of five leaders and 300 workers from her union since the minister took up his post last July.
Cambodian Labor Union Federation President Som Aun said that five other leaders from his union were also fired since the new minister took power.
Minister Nhep Bunchin denied on Monday allowing factories to fire workers for union activities.
“I never allow the factory to fire the union,” Nhep Bunchin said.
He said that sometimes he is not aware of industrial disputes because documents are kept with lower-level officials.
“I have done my best in protecting the union,” he said Monday.
“I came from the United States to work in Cambodia to help the Cambodian people,” he added.