Camboya - Trade union rights violated with impunity (2011)

In spite of some progress thanks to initiatives such as ILO projects and the efforts of certain international buyers, working conditions and respect for trade union rights in the clothing industry (Cambodia’s biggest sector) are still poor, particularly in subcontracted operations.

In many factories, trade unionists continue to face serious repression, including death threats, dismissals, blacklisting, false charges to bring them before the courts, wage deductions and exclusion from promotion, etc. The government very rarely prosecutes or imposes penalties on employers for anti-union practices. Labour inspectors are poorly trained and, given their low pay, are open to bribery.

The Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) reported the suspension or dismissal of 257 of its trade union leaders during 2010. In the case of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, the total reaches 65 (32 of whom are women), and includes ordinary members. The FTUWKC also reported physical attacks and threats against six of its members and trade union representative during 2010.

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