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Trade unions' freedom of association in Cambodia - A study on the Trade Union Law and its possible implications on trade unions in the Cambodian garment industry

Ski, Alexander LU (2017) HARP23 20171
Department of Business Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Syftet med denna uppsats är att analysera Fackföreningslagen och dess potentiella konsekvenser för fackföreningars föreningsfrihet i den kambodjanska textilindustrin. Utöver detta analyseras lagen i förhållande till redan befintlig nationell lagstiftning samt i relation till internationell rätt rörande föreningsfrihet.

Majoriteten av Fackföreningslagens regleringar är oförenliga med internationell rätt då de antingen är för detaljerade eller för vaga. Dessutom är de obligatoriska rekvisit som måste uppfyllas för att kunna åtnjuta rätten antingen för höga eller så strider de mot god praxis. Därmed tyder antagandet av Fackföreningslagen på att Kambodja bryter mot sina skyldigheter som följer av ratificeringarna av ILO Konventionen No.87... (More)
Syftet med denna uppsats är att analysera Fackföreningslagen och dess potentiella konsekvenser för fackföreningars föreningsfrihet i den kambodjanska textilindustrin. Utöver detta analyseras lagen i förhållande till redan befintlig nationell lagstiftning samt i relation till internationell rätt rörande föreningsfrihet.

Majoriteten av Fackföreningslagens regleringar är oförenliga med internationell rätt då de antingen är för detaljerade eller för vaga. Dessutom är de obligatoriska rekvisit som måste uppfyllas för att kunna åtnjuta rätten antingen för höga eller så strider de mot god praxis. Därmed tyder antagandet av Fackföreningslagen på att Kambodja bryter mot sina skyldigheter som följer av ratificeringarna av ILO Konventionen No.87 och FN:s konventioner att respektera, skydda och uppfylla de artiklar som reglerar föreningsfrihet. I jämförelse med redan befintlig nationell lagstiftning gällande föreningsfrihet, reglerar Fackföreningslagen fler aspekter av föreningsfriheten än vad Arbetslagen och Konstitutionen gör tillsammans och tillhandahåller följaktligen ett mer omfattande skydd då den reglerar aspekter som tidigare saknade reglering. Utöver detta är de obligatoriska rekvisiten mer betungande då de är mer tekniska medan miniminivåerna är högre.

Lagens otydliga regleringar kan ge offentliga myndigheter enorm diskretionär makt över fackföreningar, vilket innebär en betydande minskning av organisatorisk autonomi, vilket i sin tur gör fackföreningar sårbara för externa aktörer. Dessutom kan fackföreningar bli kännbart försvagade av betungande rekvisit då de antingen är för komplexa eller för svåra att uppfylla. Som följd blir arbetare, som generellt saknar adekvat arbetsrättskunskap, avskräckta från att bilda fackföreningar medan fackföreningarna själva förlorar styrka och beslutsamhet, vilket i sin tur påverkar deras möjligheter att etablera sig själva som en stark motpart. Å andra sidan, med tanke på fackföreningsrörelsens splittring och oförmåga att kämpa för gemensamma intressen, så kan eventuellt ett fåtal av Fackföreningslagens regleringar förenkla processen att skapa en förenad och välorganiserad kraft, som arbetar för kollektiva intressen.

Uppsatsen konkluderar att faktorn, som är direkt avgörande för lagens potentiella följder för fackföreningars föreningsfrihet i den kambodjanska textilindustrin, är dess implementering. Med tanke på den omfattande korruptionen i kombination med regeringens fientliga inställning till fria fackföreningar, finner uppsatsen att chanserna för att lagen kommer att implementeras rättvist är små. (Less)
Abstract
The aim of the thesis is to elaborately analyse the Trade Union Law and its possible implications for trade unions’ right to freedom of association in the Cambodian garment industry. In addition, the law is evaluated in relation to already existing domestic law and in relation to international law regarding freedom of association.

The majority of the Trade Union Law’s provisions are incompatible with international law, as they are either too detailed or too ambiguous. Additionally, the requirements required in order to exercise the right are either too high or not in accordance with best practice. Hence, the adoption of the Trade Union Law suggests that Cambodia violates its obligations deriving from the ratifications of the ILO... (More)
The aim of the thesis is to elaborately analyse the Trade Union Law and its possible implications for trade unions’ right to freedom of association in the Cambodian garment industry. In addition, the law is evaluated in relation to already existing domestic law and in relation to international law regarding freedom of association.

The majority of the Trade Union Law’s provisions are incompatible with international law, as they are either too detailed or too ambiguous. Additionally, the requirements required in order to exercise the right are either too high or not in accordance with best practice. Hence, the adoption of the Trade Union Law suggests that Cambodia violates its obligations deriving from the ratifications of the ILO Convention No. 87 and the UN covenants to respect, protect and fulfil the Articles regulating freedom of association. Furthermore, compared to already existing domestic legislation concerning freedom of association, the Trade Union Law covers more aspects of freedom of association than the Labour Law and Constitution together, offering a more comprehensive protection as it regulates aspects of the right that used to be unregulated. In addition, the mandatory requirements are more burdensome, as they are more technical while the minimum standards are higher.

The law’s ambiguous provisions may grant public authorities excessive discretionary power over trade unions, resulting in a significant decrease of organisational autonomy, which in turn makes unions vulnerable to external actors. Additionally, unions may be significantly weakened due to burdensome requirements, as they are either too complex or too hard to fulfil. As a consequence, workers, which in general lack adequate labour law knowledge, are discouraged from forming unions while unions themselves might lose strength and decisiveness, affecting their possibilities to establish themselves as a strong counterpart. On the other hand, considering the fragmentation of the trade union movement and its incapability to advocate for collective interests, a few of the Trade Union Law’s provisions might potentially simplify the process of creating a united and well-organized force, which are operating for collective interests.

The thesis concludes that the factor, which is directly decisive for the law’s potential implications for trade unions’ freedom of association in the Cambodian garment industry, is its enforcement. Considering the widespread corruption in combination with the Government’s hostile attitude towards independent trade unions, the thesis suggests that the chances of implementing the law in a fair manner are fairly small. (Less)
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author
Ski, Alexander LU
supervisor
organization
course
HARP23 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Cambodia, Trade Union Law, freedom of association, organisational autonomy, garment industry, ILO Convention No. 87.
language
English
id
8912909
date added to LUP
2017-06-09 08:35:06
date last changed
2017-06-09 08:35:06
@misc{8912909,
  abstract     = {The aim of the thesis is to elaborately analyse the Trade Union Law and its possible implications for trade unions’ right to freedom of association in the Cambodian garment industry. In addition, the law is evaluated in relation to already existing domestic law and in relation to international law regarding freedom of association. 

The majority of the Trade Union Law’s provisions are incompatible with international law, as they are either too detailed or too ambiguous. Additionally, the requirements required in order to exercise the right are either too high or not in accordance with best practice. Hence, the adoption of the Trade Union Law suggests that Cambodia violates its obligations deriving from the ratifications of the ILO Convention No. 87 and the UN covenants to respect, protect and fulfil the Articles regulating freedom of association. Furthermore, compared to already existing domestic legislation concerning freedom of association, the Trade Union Law covers more aspects of freedom of association than the Labour Law and Constitution together, offering a more comprehensive protection as it regulates aspects of the right that used to be unregulated. In addition, the mandatory requirements are more burdensome, as they are more technical while the minimum standards are higher. 

The law’s ambiguous provisions may grant public authorities excessive discretionary power over trade unions, resulting in a significant decrease of organisational autonomy, which in turn makes unions vulnerable to external actors. Additionally, unions may be significantly weakened due to burdensome requirements, as they are either too complex or too hard to fulfil. As a consequence, workers, which in general lack adequate labour law knowledge, are discouraged from forming unions while unions themselves might lose strength and decisiveness, affecting their possibilities to establish themselves as a strong counterpart. On the other hand, considering the fragmentation of the trade union movement and its incapability to advocate for collective interests, a few of the Trade Union Law’s provisions might potentially simplify the process of creating a united and well-organized force, which are operating for collective interests. 

The thesis concludes that the factor, which is directly decisive for the law’s potential implications for trade unions’ freedom of association in the Cambodian garment industry, is its enforcement. Considering the widespread corruption in combination with the Government’s hostile attitude towards independent trade unions, the thesis suggests that the chances of implementing the law in a fair manner are fairly small.},
  author       = {Ski, Alexander},
  keyword      = {Cambodia,Trade Union Law,freedom of association,organisational autonomy,garment industry,ILO Convention No. 87.},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Trade unions' freedom of association in Cambodia - A study on the Trade Union Law and its possible implications on trade unions in the Cambodian garment industry},
  year         = {2017},
}