Minister of Interior Sar Kheng on September 27 hailed the Collective Workers Rights Protection Union of Cambodia (CWPUC) and encouraged the trade union leader to do more to promote workers’ rights in order to attract investors to the Kingdom.
Sar Kheng praised the union's leadership and working group for forming the union in accordance with all of the requirements of the Labour Law, adding that such activities showed good initiative and were important for the protection and promotion of workers' rights, especially those who were employed at factories and large manufacturing enterprises throughout the country.
"However, federal trade unions should always consider whether they are contributing to the promotion of national honour and prestige, because that attracts investment from foreign companies as well as encouraging local firms to conduct business in a stable manner in order to create jobs for the people and contribute to the national economy," he said.
CWPUC representative Harng Ravy said the union has 16 national chapters and eight associations overseeing 121 local chapters with a total of 39,978 members, and that the union's basic goals are contributing to the protection of workers’ rights and interests by encouraging pro-worker government policies.
"We will always abide by the instructions of [Sar Kheng] and act in accordance with the points raised by him," he said.
Sam Soeun, president of the Union Federation for Labour Rights, said unions have contributed a lot to the labour sector and to the welfare of workers in Cambodia, pointing to union participation in the recent discussions regarding an increase in the minimum salary for workers in textile-related sectors.
"Partly as a result of our advocacy, we received $6 added on to the previous $194 minimum wage, which indicates that the unions are fulfilling their mission," he said.
Soeun said that as part of their efforts to attract investors to Cambodia, the unions have been effective at keeping their members disciplined and following the strict implementation of the union law, which is why there have been almost no illegal strikes as of late.
"Our union is now more mature in terms of professional communication and getting our members better social protections while also engaging in better dialogue with employers and the government, which means we understand each other much better than before," he said.