Workers Barred From Hotel Resume Striking

Workers at the Grand Hotel d’Angkor in Siem Reap resumed their strike Wednesday after the hotel barred them from returning to work, and two employees at the Hotel Cambodiana were suspended for allegedly threatening employees during the strike earlier this week, hotel and union officials said Wednesday.

More than 200 workers spent Wednesday playing traditional Khmer games in front of the luxury hotel in Siem Reap.

“We are still striking because the hotel doesn’t allow us to go back to work,” hotel union president Pap Sambo said. “We will strike until there is a solution.”

The Ministry of Tourism ap­pealed to the four hotels that barred strikers—Grand Hotel d’Angkor, Raffles Le Royal, Sun­way Hotel and Hotel Inter­Con­tinental—to allow the workers to return to work pending an April 21 Arbitration Council hearing.

The ministry is working on a directive that would specify which hotels should levy the service charge—the strike’s central is­sue—and what percentage of the charge should go to workers, Secretary of State Thong Khon said Wednesday. The Ministry of Social Affairs would work with the hotels and employees to determine the percentage, he said.

Phnom Penh Hotel Association president Tek Ket said the association is working with the ministry, but said “we have not decided anything yet.”

Meanwhile, two Hotel Cam­bodi­ana union members, Chhorn Mex and Khieu Samel, were suspended when employees at that hotel returned to work Tuesday. During the strike, the two men blocked a hotel car carrying em­ployees trying to return to work, Cambodia Tourism and Service Workers Federation President Ly Korm said.

The workers were suspended because they “threatened, har­assed, frightened and turned away” the other employees, hotel general manager Pierre Bernard said Wednesday. The hotel contacted police at the time of the incident, Bernard said. Neither he nor managing director Michel Horn could recall the incident’s exact date.

Ly Korm said two men stopped the car and photographed it to prove the hotel was illegally re­cruiting new staff. He denied that they threatened other workers.


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