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Industry stakeholders celebrate Arbitration Council 20th anniversary

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Labour minister Ith Samheng (centre) poses for a group photo at an event held in Phnom Penh on April 27 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Arbitration Council. SUPPLIED

Industry stakeholders celebrate Arbitration Council 20th anniversary

The 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Arbitration Council, a tripartite mechanism for out-of-court mediation to negotiate settlements to labour disputes, was celebrated at an event in Phnom Penh on April 27.

Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Samheng spoke at the anniversary, noting that the council has increased trust in Cambodian industry by investors and international buyers, which has led to increased investment, jobs, exports and wage growth as well as improved working conditions and better livelihoods for workers.

He added that in the past 20 years, the council has mediated 3,042 labour disputes with a success rate of about 75 per cent. The mediation process used by the council has been internationally recognised for its effectiveness.

He said that professional relations in Cambodia have reached a mature level as a result of the effective implementation of relevant laws and regulations, especially the labour law and its mechanisms for out-of-court labour settlements.

Arbitrator Sin Kim Sean said at the event that since the council was established in 2003 up through December 2022, its members had mediated 3,042 labour disputes involving 1,189,832 workers at hundreds of factories and manufacturing enterprises.

Kim Sean said the rate of success for settlements was 75.16 per cent, noting that the council had issued 2,106 orders and helped coordinate in 935 cases.

“We have performed our duties in an efficient, timely, transparent and neutral manner. We are proud of the results that have followed from our three main values: independence,  credibility and professionalism,” she said.

Sok Piseth, president of the Cambodian Federation of Employers and Business Associations, said the effectiveness, transparency and consistency of the council's orders in resolving labour disputes has received recognition from the people and gained the confidence of stakeholders. 

"Many investors have expressed satisfaction with the settlement of labour disputes through the Arbitration Council,” Piseth said.

Tep Kim Vannary, president of the Cambodian Federation of Independent Trade Union, said the council's out-of-court labour settlements has helped maintain harmony in professional relations.

“On behalf of our union, we’re happy to recognise the work that the Arbitration Council has achieved over the past 20 years,” she said.


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