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Divisive Cambodian union bill will likely be passed

Friday, March 18, 2016

Subject

Trade union legislation.

Significance

On April 4, the National Assembly will vote on a new trade union bill intended to promote smooth relations between workers and employers. However, unions, employers and international civil society organisations have repeatedly criticised the draft legislation; on March 15, several unions wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen calling for more changes ahead of April's vote.

Impacts

  • Foreign firms using Cambodian manufacturers will push for fair wages, putting pressure on employers.
  • Labour unrest could see investment pledges delayed, or sent to other countries.
  • The opposition could gain further worker support if it boycotts the trade union law vote on April 4.
  • Yet this would strain government-opposition rapprochement, undermining political stability and potentially seeing a backlash.
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