Capitol Bus Protest Draws Complaint

Source: Khmer Times


The former bus drivers have called on the prime minister to help them. KT/Chor Sokunthea

As 45 former drivers for the Capital Bus company led a small protest outside Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house in Phnom Penh on Friday, seeking his assistance in their reinstatement, the Capitol Staff and Driver’s Union issued a statement condemning their action and calling on the government to end their year-long protest against the company.
In July 2015, the 45 were fired after what they claimed was an attempt to unionize. Capitol has denied this, instead accusing the drivers of having being sacked due to their lack of professionalism.
In December the union was registered with the Labor Ministry and claims more than 400 members.
The Friday statement from the union accuses Eang Kimhun, secretary-general of the Cambodia Transportation Workers Federation, Cambodian Labor Confederation (CLC) president Ath Thorn and the 45 former drivers of leading violent protests outside the company’s headquarters that has affected business and upset neighbors.
“We condemn the Cambodian Labor Confederation of Mr. Thorn, Mr. Kimhun and 45 former drivers who incite and lead gangsters from outside to cause violence several times, for their benefit only,” read the statement.
The statement labels the 45 as thieves, claiming they stole from Capitol, and of breaking their employment contracts, and calls for the CLC’s donors to better monitor the actions of its members. Mr. Kimhun yesterday told Khmer Times that the letter was without grounds and in fact broke the law by ignoring the provisions for protest and labor disputes enshrined in the Labor Law.
“The company has no right to condemn us or our union,” he said. “It is only the court institutions which have the right to do it. The company issued a statement accusing us of violating the law. It’s so bad.”
He dismissed the claims made against the 45 drivers and said their calls for justice would continue.
The petition the former drivers tried to present to Mr. Hun Sen’s representatives was rejected as it was improperly written and Mr. Kimhun vowed yesterday that it would be rewritten and submitted again this week.


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