The State Department has called for the release of union leader Chhim Sithar.
Cambodia.- The US Department of State has issued a press statement saying it was deeply concerned by the recent arrest of Chhim Sithar. The president of a labour union involved in a year-long dispute with NagaWorld was arrested after returning from a 12-day trade union conference in Australia.
The department urged Cambodian authorities “to release Chhim Sithar and all detained trade unionists exercising their rights to freedom of association and peaceful assembly, drop charges against them, and move to constructively resolve their disputes.”
It also reiterated its call for Cambodia to release US citizen Theary Seng and said the Cambodian government should uphold labour rights obligations and mediate a resolution between NagaWorld and the union.
A Cambodian-American lawyer and human rights activist, Theary Seng, was among 60 opposition figures jailed in June after a mass trial that rights groups and the US have condemned as politically motivated.
NagaWorld employees began their strike on December 18 2021 in protest against NagaCorp’s layoffs and pay cuts that aimed to improve cost efficiency due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to authorities, as of November 26, 249 of the 373 employees have accepted seniority payments to put an end to their employment contracts with the company. However, 124 employees still refuse to accept the payments.