SOLIDARITY PLACARDS: RELEASE, REINSTATE, NEGOTIATE! Solidarity in support of striking workers at NagaWorld Cambodia

SOLIDARITY PLACARDS: RELEASE, REINSTATE, NEGOTIATE! Solidarity in support of striking workers at NagaWorld Cambodia

Join the international call to RELEASE 8 imprisoned trade unionists, REINSTATE 365 unfairly terminated union leaders and members, and for the company to NEGOTIATE with the Labor Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees of Naga World (LRSU) to restore the rights and protect the well-being of 4,000 union members.

ACT NOW! Please support the call to release jailed union leaders!

Please add your organization’s logo, print the placards and join the protest!

 

CLICK HERE FOR PDF

CLICK HERE FOR PDF

CLICK HERE FOR PDF

CLICK HERE FOR PDF

 

Striking workers denounce NagaWorld management’s misinformation campaign, call for release of arrested leaders and restoration of union rights

Striking workers denounce NagaWorld management’s misinformation campaign, call for release of arrested leaders and restoration of union rights

As the strike by thousands of workers at the NagaWorld hotel casino resort in Cambodia entered its sixth week, members of the IUF-affiliated LRSU held a press conference to repudiate the misinformation spread by NagaWord and the Ministry of Labour

ACT NOW! Please support the call to release jailed union leaders!

At the press conference held on January 28, union representatives responded a public statement by NagaWorld management published by the media on January 3. While NagaWorld continues to claim the mass layoff of over 1,000 union members was necessary due to economic losses, the union pointed out that NagaWorld has continued to generate an annual net profit of over USD 100 million. In fact on March 8, 2021 – exactly a month before the announcement of mass layoffs on April 8 – NagaCorp announced a USD 102 million profit and that 100% of the profits for the second half of 2020 will be paid out to “loyal” shareholders. [See After paying out 100% of profits to “loyal shareholders”, Naga World Hotel Casino terminates over 1,300 workers who worked through the pandemic – IUF Asia-Pacific (iufap.org]

Meanwhile, the construction of the new Naga 3 continues. The cost of the Naga 3 Integrated Entertainment Complex is USD 3.5 billion. This is not a company that needs to terminate 1,300 workers to avoid bankruptcy.

management’s somewhat misleading statement reprinted by local media

In its statement on January 3, NagaWorld management makes the extraordinary claim that:

“… because of the strong dedication towards protection of interests and rights of the staff’s welfare, the company has encouraged and emphasized to the staff to unionize since the company’s inception in 1995.”

The union pointed out that, in stark contrast to this claim, management engaged in a series of systematic violations of worker and trade union rights – including fundamental rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining – which were reported to the Ministry of Labour for over 13 years. These same rights violation were reported to the ILO, and the termination of union leaders in 2009 was the subject of an ILO complaint filed in 2010.

 

In February 2009, management unfairly dismissed 14 union leaders and members during collective bargaining to prevent the union from pursuing its wage demands. Management refused to reinstate the union leaders even after an Arbitration Council decision ordering reinstatement. The collective bargaining rights of more than 4,000 union members were never restored.

Further attacks on the union occurred in 2013 and 2019, and in 2020 management used the pandemic to terminate all of the union leadership and the majority of active union members.

The strike will continue until NagaWorld makes its claim to respect trade union rights a reality. This needs the immediate and unconditional release of arrested union leaders, the reinstatement of unfairly terminated union leaders and members, and good faith negotiations with LRSU. Only then can NagaWorld’s misleading public statement begin to be rectified.

Despite pressure from local authorities to prevent the union from securing a venue, the press conference went ahead on January 28, 2022

ACT NOW! Please support the call to release jailed union leaders!

 

Union office raided, striking NagaWorld workers arrested, as management and authorities respond with repression

Union office raided, striking NagaWorld workers arrested, as management and authorities respond with repression

Four hours before midnight on New Year’s Eve, police raided the office of the Labor Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees of Naga World (LRSU), arresting nine trade union leaders and members. They remain in custody on unspecified charges.

The arrests occurred as NagaWorld management lobbied government authorities and colluded with the key officials in the Ministry of Labour to force an end to the peaceful strike action that started on December 18, 2021.

Despite the fact that the peaceful strike is a direct result of a series of management failures, NagaWorld refused to find a constructive solution and restore industrial relations. The company – a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based NagaCorp – has instead chosen to take repressive measures against workers and escalate the crisis.

Striking workers at NagaWorld band together to protect union leaders from further arrests

POSTER: “what we fear as women”, we fight as a union! International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

POSTER: “what we fear as women”, we fight as a union! International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

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POSTER: Union Power Must Protect Women Speaking Out! International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

POSTER: Union Power Must Protect Women Speaking Out! International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

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POSTER: “what we fear as women”, we fight as a union! International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

“what we fear as women”, we fight as a union!

The phrase “what we fear as women” comes from a powerful report by the Al-Jazeera Investigative Unit on sexual abuse and violence against women in UK universities. The sexual harassment, abuse and violence described in the report and the exploitation of the institutionalized vulnerability of women exposes the fears that women workers experience in workplaces everyday.

One of the reasons women workers face violence and abuse at work is the the institutionalized and systemic vulnerability that pervades workplaces. Based on our work with women union leaders and members in hotels, restaurants, food processing and agriculture over the past four years, we identified different kinds of institutionalized vulnerability, both physical and economic.

Physical vulnerability was experienced in terms of isolation and travel. Isolation could mean situations in which there are only a few women among many men in a workplace, leaving them vulnerable. Or where women were working alone in fields or plantations, or as sales workers on the road visiting homes or offices. Travel referred to vulnerability during travel to and from work. This included crowded mixed public transport; crowded mixed transport provided by the employer; being compelled to hitch-hike to and from work; or walking long distances to work in fields or to collect water.

The economic vulnerability we discussed included low wages or poverty wages that make it impossible for women to remove themselves from violence. This applies both to violence in the workplace and home. Where women on poverty wages are already vulnerable and cannot get another job, they are unable to achieve the economic independence needed to escape domestic violence. Several of our women union leaders argued that a decent wage or a “living wage” negotiated through collective bargaining can contribute to reducing women workers’ economic vulnerability and help to eliminate the violence arising from that vulnerability.

Our members spoke of a range of different kinds of economic vulnerability, including: debt/bonded labour and the violence women face as “property”; widows denied access to land rights and government benefits; women workers denied the family benefits received by men, especially housing and wages in kind (e.g. essential food such as rice, grain) on plantations; recruitment practices; and precarious employment arrangements.

Sexual harassment and abuse in applying for and getting jobs, passing probation, passing performance appraisals, securing permanent jobs, or renewing temporary contracts is rampant. This is because tremendous power over the job security, livelihoods and promotion of women workers is concentrated in the hands of men in management and supervisory positions. This power is regularly abused and there are often no effective measures in place to prevent this.

Despite claims of ‘zero tolerance’ for discrimination and harassment, most employers – including some of the biggest transnational food, beverage and agricultural companies in the world – do nothing to address the nexus of economic vulnerability and the abuse of power. Instead, most employers defend the use of precarious employment (insecure jobs based on casual, temporary, labour hire, or outsourcing) in economic terms. It’s all about flexibility and efficiency. Yet insecure jobs are a fundamental source of economic vulnerability for women workers, leaving them exposed to the harassment and abuse of the men who will decide whether or not their contracts are renewed. It is a fundamental source of the fear women workers face.

It is our role as trade unions to take action to ensure that women no longer face that fear. We must take action to stop violence against women. But we must also take action as unions to eliminate one of the most important sources of institutionalized fear at work: insecurity and fear arising from recruitment, precarious employment, and insecure jobs. 

We must expose the power and vulnerability behind “what we fear as women” and we must fight it as a union. 

Please join us on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25 to call for greater action by unions. And every day going forward, let’s make it happen. Our union, our power must be used to protect and support women speaking out, women working without fear, with all workers standing together, to STOP violence against women.

Hidayat Greenfield, Regional Secretary

What we fear as women-English PDF

Women working without fear-English PDF