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Arbitration Council Orders End to Cambodian Hotel Strike

Posted to the IUF website 13-Apr-2004

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The nine-day strike by over 1,000 workers in Cambodian 5-star hotels ended on April 13 as the country's Arbitration Council assumed jurisdiction over the dispute and ordered a return to work. The IUF-affiliated Cambodian Tourism and Service Workers’ Federation (CTSWF) launched the strike on April 5 in response to employers' unilateral rejection of earlier arbitration rulings instructing them to comply with Cambodian law and distribute 100 percent of hotel service charges to employees on a regular monthly basis. In many cases Cambodian hotels have collected service charges for over five years, but never properly distributed these funds. The CTSWF estimates the total amount of outstanding service charge owed to hotel workers at USD 3 million for the past three years alone.

Union members were harassed by police and management in the course of the strike, and one union president received a death threat on his mobile telephone.

Arbitration Council hearings on the service charge dispute are scheduled to begin on April 21.