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Date updated : 24-Apr-2017

Status: active

© 2017 IUF

Cambodia: Brewery giant Carlsberg seeks to punish union for defending workers' rights

Update: Carlsberg continues to attack the rights of workers at its Cambodian joint-venture Cambrew. On July 21, a provincial court dismissed the company’s demand that Cambodian Food and Service Workers Federation (CFSWF) leader Sar Mora pay the company USD 60,000 in ‘compensation’ for a warehouse strike last August which the union neither organized nor endorsed. At the same time, the court ordered a local union leader to pay the company USD 3,000!

Global brewery giant Carlsberg is using the courts to bully and intimidate the IUF-affiliated Cambodian Food and Service Workers Federation (CFSWF), the union representing workers at its Cambodian joint venture Cambrew. The union has been seeking reinstatement of the beer promotion women who were dismissed last year for contesting the unilateral worsening of their terms of employment. Now Cambrew is demanding punitive financial 'compensation' from the union following a strike by warehouse workers which the CFSWF neither organized nor officially endorsed.

Cambrew employs beer promotion women to market and serve Angkor beer at restaurants, where they compete with promoters from other breweries working in the same restaurants. A 'Beer Promoter's Code of Conduct' signed by Carlsberg and other brewers in 2006 was ostensibly to have led to improvements in their working conditions following international exposure of the hazardous, exploitative nature of the work. This did not prevent Cambrew from unilaterally replacing existing employment contracts in early 2016 which extended working hours (exposing the women to even greater risk) and abolished training and maternity leave. Workers have been put on short-term contracts to evade the legal obligation to offer permanent contracts after two years of service.

Determined to defend their rights, the women went on strike, but when an arbitration tribunal ordered a return to work pending a resolution of the dispute, 12 of the women were terminated. On December 25, 2016 25 more beer promoters were effectively terminated when their contracts were not renewed. Thirteen of them were CFSWF members who had participated in the strike.

In August 2016, workers at the Cambrew warehouse in Sihanoukville spontaneously struck in response to what was widely perceived as a discriminatory dismissal. Cambrew has now taken the union to court to demand 'compensation' for the strike.

USE THE FORM BELOW TO SEND A MESSAGE TO CARLSBERG, calling on the company to drop the court case against the CFSWF, reinstate the beer promoters dismissed for defending their rights and enter into good faith negotiations to resolve long-standing issues.

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Here is the message you are sending:

To Mr. Christian Gollasch, VP Talent, Mobility & Compensation
Cc Mr. Nicolai Neergaard, Director of Executive Office and Employment Affairs

Dear Mr. Gollasch

I have learned that your joint-venture Cambrew in Cambodia continues to seek to intimidate the Cambodian Food and Service Workers Federation (CFSWF) and its members. The union has been seeking to defend the working conditions of the beer promotion women whose terms and conditions of employment were unilaterally degraded last year and is seeking reinstatement for the 12 beer promoters who were terminated for contesting these unilateral changes. The company continues to casualize employment and discriminate against union members by failing to renew their contracts. The company is also seeking to intimidate the union by demanding financial compensation for a spontaneous strike by warehouse workers last year which the union neither organized nor publicly endorsed. I call on Carlsberg to act to ensure that Cambrew immediately drops the court case against the union, reinstates the 12 beer promotors dismissed in January 2016 and enters into good faith negotiations with the CFSWF to resolve long-standing issues at Cambrew.

Yours sincerely

If you wish to send your own message and not use this text, please open your email client and paste these addresses into the To field:
Christian.Gollasch@carlsberggroup.com
Nicolai.Neergaard@carlsberg.dk



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