Camboya - Six union representatives charged over protest to scare others from organising

On 6 May 2014, the Kompong Speu Provincial Court charged six union representatives with incitement over a protest near the Wing Star Shoes factory that day, in a move unions say was unjustified and meant to intimidate.

Court prosecutor Keo Sothea said all six were charged with threatening to commit a crime and inciting a felony for allegedly encouraging the factory workers to block a road during their protest for back pay and more benefits.

The men were arrested while setting up loudspeakers for the protest.

Sath Chheang Hour, president of the Cambodia National Confederation for Labor Protection, said all seven were officers in two partner unions. Four of the arrested men belonged to the Khmer Worker Power Federation Union, and two belonged to the Cambodia Solidarity Union Federation. The unions said the arrests were clearly meant to scare them out of organising legitimate strikes.

“The government is afraid and concerned about the wave of worker protests since they can’t stop it,” said Chea Mony, president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

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