Six unions announced they would boycott Tuesday’s meeting with the Labor Ministry where they were to discuss amendments to the Labor Law, a move that a ministry spokesperson said misunderstood economics and would have no impact.
In a statement, the unions said they objected to a proposal to remove mandatory overtime rates for people working overnight and on holidays.
The unions had already demanded that the ministry drop the proposed amendment during two meetings in January and July, the statement said.
“We have to do this because the ministry and factories need to reconsider, because we represent the voice of the workers, said Ath Thorn, president of the Cambodian Labor Confederation, one of the groups planning a boycott. “If they do not listen and continue, we can do nothing about it, but the workers will be unhappy.”
Thorn said night shift workers currently received 130 percent of their normal rates.
Labor Ministry spokesman Heng Sour said the meeting would continue without the unions. “It doesn’t impact the process,” Sour said.
“When there is more investment and industry, the Cambodian economy will be stronger and there will be more jobs in the market and more choice,” he said.
Six unions that announced the boycott also include the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions, Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia and Confederation of Cambodian Worker Movement.