Trade Unions and Employers’ Organization

What are trade unions? Is it legal to join one? How can I join a trade union? What are the benefits of becoming a member? Find the answers to these important questions on prake.org

What is a trade union?

Trade unions are professional organizations that represent workers to their employers. Trade unions will negotiate with employers on workplace issues such as salary, hours of work, and other conditions, on the behalf of their members.

What is an employers’ organization?

Like trade unions, which are professional organizations made up of workers, employers can form and join employers’ organization for the purpose of studying, promoting the interests, and protecting the rights of the persons in the association.

Trade unions or associations that include both employers and workers are forbidden.

 What is the role of trade unions and employers' organizations

According to the law, trade unions and employers’ organizations can freely consult each other about the study, research, promotion and protection of their moral and material interests. The two parties can enter into a negotiation to make a collective bargaining agreement. Employers must bargain in good faith if a representative trade union asks to negotiate a CBA.

How to become a trade union member?

In Cambodia, the law gives all workers the right to form or join a trade union, with the exception of those not covered in the labor law such as public servants, military personnel, etc. You should talk to your shop steward or other union representative in your workplace if you are interested in becoming a member or learning about the activities of the trade union.

What is a collective bargaining agreement?

A collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is an agreement between employers and employees which regulates the terms and conditions of employees in their workplace. A CBA can provide workers with better benefits than those provided in the law. Only a trade union that is representative of employees in an enterprise can enter into negotiation with the employer to form a CBA. A CBA can be for a definite time period or an indefinite time period. When it is for a definite term, the term cannot be more than 3 years. 

 What are the benefits of becoming a member?

When you join a trade union, you don’t have to deal with workplace issues as an individual. Your concerns and interests such as on wages, working hours, maternity leave, sick leave and disputes will be solved and promoted by the trade union. In addition, trade unions may have skilled negotiators and trained labour specialist who can get you a better deal than if you negotiate with your employers alone. Just make sure that the trade union you join truly represent what you want.

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