President of the Cambodian hospitality union (LRSU) representing workers at the NagaWorld Casino Hotel was arrested in Phnom Penh airport and jailed on the 26th of November while returning from International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) World Congress in Melbourne.

The LRSU has been leading a strike of workers at the five-star hotel for more than 11 months.

Ms Chhim travelled to Melbourne and Canberra while in Australia and met with Australian politicians to discuss the issues facing the workers she represents in Cambodia.

The ACTU condemns her arrest, and calls for her immediate release and the dropping of all charges.

The political persecution of union leaders is an unfortunately common occurrence in Cambodia and around the world, and it is appalling that Ms Chhim has been jailed for standing up for the rights of working people.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“Chhim Sithar should be released immediately, with all charges dropped. The ACTU joins the international union movement in condemning her arrest and will be closely monitoring this situation.

“We call on the Cambodian Government to release Ms Chhim immediately and drop all charges against her.

“The persecution of union leaders and working people around the world breaches their international labour and human rights and should be condemned.”

Media contact: Peter Green 0400 764 200