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Conditions of Workers Not Improving, Brother of Slain Leader Says

Chea Mony, whose brother, labor leader Chea Vichea, was murdered in 2004, said Monday that many of the conditions that led to his brother’s union movement still exist, or are worse.

The government exports are worth $2.6 billion per year, Chea Mony said, but the workers see little of it.

Chea Mony, who has assumed his brother's mantle as the head of the Free Trade Union of the Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, said demonstrations were not allowed as readily as they were in the past, and when strikes do occur, management budges little.

Police have put down several demonstrations in recent weeks, including one last week that put four people in jail and injured several more. Such violence was a hallmark of the Kandal province police, where this strike occurred and others often do, Chea Mony said.

"It's not police business,” he said. “It’s supposed to be the owner and worker dealing with the issue, but every time it turns out to be violent, and police enter to solve the problem.”