From the TUC

ACT NOW – join Amnesty campaign for Cambodian union leaders

26 Sep 2010, By

Several union leaders and activists organising a nationwide strike of garment factory workers in Cambodia are at risk of arrest and legal action. The TUC is supporting Amnesty International’s urgent action calling on the Cambodian government to stop its harassment and to respect freedom of association.

The five day national strike was called by a coalition of garment industry unions in protest at a new minimum wage set for the garment and footwear industry. Union officials say that 200,000 workers around the country joined the strike.

On 15 September, the Prime Minister authorized the police and local authorities to begin unspecified legal action against strike leaders. The courts are reported to have warrants ready for the arrest of nine individuals for incitement, including Ath Thorn, the President of the Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC); Morn Nhim, President of the Cambodian National Confederation (CNC); and Tola Moeun, Head of the Labour Rights Programme at CLEC Community Legal Education Centre. Although the strike was temporarily suspended on 16 September following an offer of further negotiations, it is feared that the threat of legal action, including charges of incitement, against union leaders and strikers remains. Please sign Amnesty International’s appeal calling on the Cambodian authorities respect the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.

An attack on unions anywhere is an attack on unions everywhere.