IUF logo; clicking here returns you to the home page.
Uniting Food, Farm and Hotel Workers World-Wide

Employers Retaliate, Sack Union Members Following Cambodian Hotel Strike

Posted to the IUF website 22-Apr-2004

Share this article.

Conflict continues at Cambodia's 5-star hotels following the strike launched on April 5 by the IUF-affiliated Cambodian Tourism and Service Workers’ Federation (CTSWF) (for background information click here). Union members at 6 luxury hotels walked off the job when employers unilaterally rejected government arbitration rulings instructing hotels to distribute 100 percent of hotel service charges to employees on a regular monthly basis. The Cambodian Arbitration Council requested a return to work on April 12 and began hearings on the service charge dispute on April 21.

But union members who reported for work on April 12 at the Raffles Grand Hotel in Siem Riep were refused entry. Raffles Siem Riep management has contested the arbitration award of January 26, which called for a wage increase and full monthly service charge distribution to employees. After they were prevented from returning to work, some 200 workers were fired on April 20.

Management of Raffles Leroyal Hotel in Phnom Penh also blocked strikers from returning to work on April 17 and followed this up by firing 97 workers, who received written notice of their termination. Two-hundred-and-ten workers were fired at the Intercontinental after being barred from returning to their jobs, and 28 strikers were sacked at the Sunway Hotel.

On April 22, the Cambodian Arbitration Council issued an interim order instructing employers to allow all workers to return to their jobs on April 23 and prohibiting them "from pursuing any action against their employees with regard to participation in the strike from 5-12 April 2004."

Management at the Raffles and other hotels have complained to the press about the losses they suffered as a result of the strike. However, the CTSWF estimates the total amount of outstanding service charge owed to hotel workers at USD 3 million for the past three years alone.

We will continue to update the news on this site in response to the rapid pace of developments in Cambodia, and will advise visitors to the site of any requested support action.