Cambodia: ILO calls for protection of union leaders

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has urged authorities in Cambodia to protect trade union leaders following a clash between striking garment workers and armed forces earlier this week, where a woman was killed.

“The ILO country office for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR also demands that competent national authorities take the measures necessary for the protection of trade union leaders and to ensure the full exercise of trade union rights in keeping with relevant ILO conventions and principles as well as Cambodia’s obligations under ratified international labour standards,” the ILO said in a statement to just-style.

The comments come after a woman died and at least nine people were injured following a clash between striking garment workers and armed forces in Phnom Penh’s Stung Meanchey district on Tuesday (12 November).

According to human rights organisation LICADHO, 600 of the workers were from SL Garment Processing, which makes clothing for apparel retailers Gap Inc and H&M.

“We strongly condemn the use of violence by both authorities and protesters and urge all involved parties to respect the rule of law, exercise maximum restraint and express their views peacefully,” the ILO added.

“We also call on all parties to apply the principles of social dialogue and negotiate a resolution to this industrial conflict through peaceful and existing dispute resolution mechanisms.”