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UK Unions Take Action in Solidarity with Cambodian Hotel Workers

Posted to the IUF website 09-Jun-2004

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On June 8, a group of union members and officers from the UK Transport and General Workers' Union and the international department of the national center TUC distributed leaflets to guests and passers by at the upmarket Raffles Howard Hotel in central London. The leaflet denounced the illegal firing of three hundred members of the Cambodian Tourism and Service Workers Federation (CTSWF) at Raffles two Cambodian hotels following their one-week strike in April. The leaflet described how Raffles management had created an illegal paper employee organisation, signed an "agreement" with it, and informed the world financial press that the conflict was "resolved". To support the struggle of the Cambodian hotel workers and their union, the UK trade unionists encouraged messages to the London Howard management "telling them what you think of their Cambodian employment practices."

British unionists prepare to distribute leaflets at the London Howard Hotel in support of their Cambodian sisters and brothers. From left to right: Simon Nunn (T&G); Brian Revell (T&G); Mairin Power (TUC); Sam Guerney (TUC); Jack Clarke (T&G).

The UK union members were able to meet with the manager and deliver a letter calling for respect of trade union rights by Raffles management in Cambodia. The manager accepted the letter but contended that the conflict had been "resolved".

The conflict has not been resolved. This has been Raffles line ever since they looted the union office in Siem Riep, destroyed official documents establishing the union's legal status as representative of the Raffles workers, and created two yellow employee organizations to supplant the legitimate trade union at the hotels.

Support actions are being planned by IUF affiliates around the world.