Camboya - New anti-union law passed

The Cambodian parliament approved a controversial new Trade Union Law on 4 April 2016 in the face of repeated objections by trade unions, human rights organisations, the ILO and several global garment brands. None of the requested alterations made by unions were incorporated into the final text. The new law will among other things impose new limits on the right to strike, facilitate government intervention in internal union affairs and permit third parties to seek the dissolution of trade unions. At the same time the maximum sanctions against employers for unfair labour practices are so low as to be worthless (at USD 1,250).

The ILO in Cambodia, which helped the government to draft the trade union law between 2014 and 2015, released a statement on 4 April 2016 after the law was adopted by the parliament, saying: “...on numerous occasions the ILO drew the government’s attention to several key concerns and gaps. These are mainly related to insufficient protection of the right of all workers and employers to freely set up organisations of their own choosing, and of the right of these organisations to decide on their internal matters without interference, as part of Cambodia’s obligations under ratified ILO Conventions.”

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