On the Picket Line

Union leader in Cambodia jailed over casino strike

By Brian Williams
June 12, 2023

A court in Cambodia jailed union leader Chhim Sithar for two years May 25 for leading a strike at NagaWorld, the country’s only casino. She and eight other current and former union members of Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees of NagaWorld were convicted of “incitement to commit a felony or disturb social security.”

In April 2021 bosses at NagaWorld announced they were firing over 1,300 workers, about half of them union members. Sithar was arrested during a protest there in January 2022. She was charged with “incitement” and incarcerated for two months. She was then rearrested in November.

“This is a clear case of the Cambodian government waging an anti-union campaign against Chhim Sithar and her union,” Michele O’Neil, president of the Australian Confederation of Trade Unions, said in a statement, demanding she be released immediately.