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Court calls Cambodian Food and Service Workers Federation leader over beer row

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Angkor beer promotion workers protest outside the company’s headquarters in Phnom Penh in 2016. Hong Menea

Court calls Cambodian Food and Service Workers Federation leader over beer row

The Appeal Court has summonsed Cambodian Food and Service Workers Federation leader Sar Mora to answer charges of alleged harassment against beer producer Cambrew.

The company, partially owned by brewery giant Carlsberg, had filed an appeal on March 9 and is demanding the union leader pay compensation as ordered by the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court in July last year.

According to the summons dated August 5 and signed by presiding judge Ngoun Im, Mora has to be present in court on Wednesday at 8:30am.

In August 2016, Cambrew filed a $60,000 lawsuit against two union leaders, Mora and Democratic Workers Union of Angkor Beer Company president Khem Mao, following a workers’ strike.

About 100 workers went on a five-day strike to urge the company to reinstate the warehouse manager Lim Roath who was sacked by the management.

The Sihanoukville Provincial Court rejected the claims and only ordered Mao to pay $3,000 but dropped all charges against Mora.

Mora acknowledged he received the summons and would appear in court if he is able to find a suitable defence lawyer.

“My aim is to appear for the hearing, but I am still communicating with a lawyer, so I don’t know if I can make it on time or not. If I can’t find the support of a lawyer on time, I will request for a postponement,” he said.

He said the charge was to suppress trade union leaders and prevent the formation of unions in factories.

“We see their motives, and it is not related to any illegal activity. It is just a technique used by the company to threaten unions that try to protect workers’ interest. We hope the Appeal Court will drop the case,” he said.

Touch Tharith, the Appeal Court’s spokesman, confirmed that a case was filed by the company based on court procedures.

Cambrew produces Angkor, Carlsberg, Bayon, Klang and Black Panther beers in Cambodia.

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