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Uniting Food, Farm and Hotel Workers World-Wide

Settlement at Raffles Cambodia Ends Long Dispute

Posted to the IUF website 15-Sep-2004

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Agreements signed on September 12 between the local hotel unions of the IUF-affiliated Cambodian Tourism and Service Workers Federation (CTSWF) and the general managers of Raffles two Cambodian hotels - Raffles Le Royal (Phnom Penh) and Raffles Grand Hotel Angkor (Siem Riep) have put an end to the conflict which began in April. IUF Asia/Pacific Regional Secretary Ma Wei Pin, who assisted in the final stages of negotiations, was present at the official signing, together with CTSWF President Ly Korm and Raffles Global Group HR Director Han Hun Juan. Alonzo Suson, Field Director for the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center, witnessed the signing.

Under the terms of the agreements, a majority of dismissed union members who wish to return to their jobs have been reinstated on terms acceptable to all parties, effective September 13. Dismissed union members will have first priority when the hotels again begin recruiting staff.

Management recognizes the respective affiliates of CTSWF as the exclusive representative union. Recognition of the CTSWF effectively ends the dispute over rival employee organizations set up in the wake of the firings. The union has expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the negotiations on both these key issues.

Unions around the world showed their solidarity with the CTSWF by supporting the IUF's international campaign in many ways. IUF members demonstrated at Raffles properties around the world. Unions and national centers requested their embassies and diplomatic missions in Cambodia to avoid Raffles as a venue for official events. Unions gave financial, moral and political support to the CTSWF. Our sister organization, the International Transport Workers' Federation, informed ITF flight crews of the conflict and communicated their unions' concerns to Raffles headquarters in Singapore. Thousands of IUF members and supporters of labour rights sent protest messages to Raffles.

The resolution of this conflict through a negotiated settlement brings to a close the international support campaign. "We are very happy to reach an agreement", says CTSWF President Ly Korm, "and look forward to a constructive relationship with the hotels." On behalf of the CTSWF, the secretariat thanks all those who contributed to the successful outcome.