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Union Reps Address 'Hello VOA' Ahead of May Day

The representatives of two Cambodian unions took calls from "Hello VOA" listeners Monday morning, in the wake of a letter from international garment companies concerned over a perceived "pattern of violence" in Cambodia's labor sector.

Chea Mony, president of the Cambodian Confederation Union, and At Thun, a member of the Cambodian Coalition of Apparel Democratic Union, spoke to listeners about International Labor Day, May 1, and the importance of union activity in Cambodia.

At least three union leaders have been murdered since 2004. Two men widely believed innocent are in jail for the murder of labor leader Chea Vichea in 2004. The murder of Hy Vuthy, in February, so far has been unsolved.

Last week, five garment manufacturers, including the Gap and Eddie Bauer, wrote a letter of concern to Prime Minister Hun Sen and other key leaders in the sector calling for deeper investigations into the murders.

Cambodia's labor sector is infamously turbulent, and labor leaders are often threatened or beaten as they campaign for workers' rights.