A Change of Guard

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Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Round of Capitol bus negotiations fruitless

A Capitol Bus Company driver holds a sign during a protest in Phnom Penh last month.
A Capitol Bus Company driver holds a sign during a protest in Phnom Penh last month.

Round of Capitol bus negotiations fruitless
Tue, 24 May 2016 ppp
Pech Sotheary

Negotiations between former drivers of the Capitol Bus Company and their ex-employer, mediated by Prampi Makara district authorities, yielded no settlement yesterday, although both parties agreed to continue talks.

Following nearly six months of protests demanding reinstatement and compensation, 45 drivers who allege they were sacked for trying to form a union yesterday had their demands rebuffed, according to District Governor Lem Sophea.

“They agreed with one another to continue to meet each other because the company has prepared four points for the next negotiation, so let’s wait for their next negotiation,” Sophea said following the meeting yesterday evening.

Hin Moeun, who represented the drivers in the negotiations, said the company demanded the drivers accept they were fired for their work performance in return for their driver’s licences (which the company holds), their unpaid wages, security deposits and a withdrawal of outstanding court complaints by the company against the drivers.

“We did not make mistakes,” Moeun said. “So we cannot accept it, but we will keep asking for negotiations and we will halt the strike temporarily.“If we cannot settle the case, we will resume the strike.”

Capitol Bus Company representative Ho Kokvann could not be reached for comment. The company has previously stated that the drivers were fired for violating internal company rules.

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