August 9, 2011

Siem Reap hotel sacks more workers


Labour department officials have taken action against Siem Reap province’s Angkor Village Hotel and Resort after the luxury  hotel sacked more than two thirds of its workforce over the past week, including 48 people on Saturday.

The provincial labour department yesterday filed a complaint to the Arbitration Council against the hotel, which has reportedly sacked 66 of its 90 employees, dismissals which came after the workers formed a union early last month.

The hotel’s owners told provincial labour officials in a meeting last Wednesday that they planned to rehire the employees. However, as of yesterday, they were reportedly refusing to reinstate the workers.

“The owners informed me that they would not rehire the employees that they fired from their hotel. However, they did agree to pay compensation in accordance with the labour law to the 66 employees that were fired,” labour department chief Chan Sokhom Cheta said yesterday.

He added that his department had filed the complaint to the Arbitration Council.

Moeun Tola, head of the labour programme at the Community Legal Education Centre, said yesterday that in Siem Reap, hotel owners often initially clash with newly-formed unions, but eventually compromise with the unions in order to maintain their reputations.

Representatives of the Angkor Village Resort Workers Union claimed last week that the owners had accused some employees of poisoning fellow staff members’ food as an excuse for firing them.

Vice president of the Cambodian Tourism and Service Workers Federation, Morm Rithy, said he was hopeful the Arbitration Council would resolve the dispute.

“Before [the owners] told the department of labour that they fired workers due to a financial crisis, but on Saturday they claimed they were wary of the employees’ character,” he said.

Owners of the Angkor Village Hotel and Resort could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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