Camboya - 817 workers sacked or suspended after taking part in national strike in September (2011)

From 13 to 16 September, a national strike was held by the Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC) and the Cambodian National Confederation (CNC) in support of their demand for the minimum wage to be raised to a living wage of 93 dollars a month in the garment sector. The numbers supporting the strike went from 63,000 on the first day to over 200,000 workers, from over 100 garment factories, by the last day on 16 September. Ten trade union leaders were briefly arrested during the strike, 28 workers were injured (following police intervention and, in three cases, after factory vehicles ran into striking workers). The strike came to an end when the government promised to bring trade unions and employers to the negotiating table. On returning to work, 817 employees were informed that they had been sacked or suspended for taking part in the strike. Four hundred and ninety nine of them were subsequently reinstated but at the end of 2010, 318 workers from 16 factories still had not been able to return to their jobs. Eighty two of them are trade union leaders. The government of Cambodia and a Court of Justice have, however, stated that the companies should reinstate the 318 workers. The employers have, moreover, filed dozens of legal complaints against union leaders, demanding compensation for losses linked to the strike.

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