The labor ministry has warned one of Cambodia’s most prominent unions that its registration could be canceled if it does not supply the government with financial reports.
The Cambodian Labor Confederation (CLC) is led by Ath Thorn, one of Cambodia’s most prominent unionists.
The CLC, a coalition of smaller unions, has been one of the most active unions campaigning to raise the minimum wage for garment workers over the past several years.
The labor ministry has given the CLC a deadline of February 14 to supply financial data on its member groups and their leadership or face a revocation of its registration. Separate annual reports must be filed by March.
Koy Teparavuth also said in a letter to the CLC that the ministry had previously requested the information in September.
Thorn told VOA Khmer on Wednesday that he questioned the legality of the request. “This is a complicated issue, and we are concerned because normally in the law on trade unions, it asks us to make copies of financial reports and activity reports,” he said.
“What is the purpose of what they are doing? We are checking.”
The trade union law was passed in April 2016 amid a series of complaints about its content, which critics said was overly restrictive.
Tepdaravuth declined to comment on the reasoning behind the decision to request financial information from the CLC.
“Regarding the law, please call the ministry where there is a spokesman. Please ask the spokesman,” he said.
Heng Suor, a spokesman for the Ministry of Labor, could not be reached for comment.