In this text, I am going to briefly discuss about the following questions or topics regarding collective bargaining agreement under the Trade Union Law of Cambodia.
1. What is collective bargaining agreement?
Collective bargaining agreement, hereinafter called “collective agreement,” refers to agreement concluded by the most representative union and employer or employer association for the purpose of determining working conditions, occupational conditions and other conditions of the personnel who are serving at air and maritime transport and those of the workers, and for the purpose of governing the relationship between employer and personnel, workers or union or between union and employer association. (Article 69, Trade Union Law)
2. Who can conclude collective agreement?
Under the Trade Union Law, only shop steward and the most representative union can represent the workers to negotiate and conclude the collective agreement with employer or employer association. However, the effect of collective agreement made by the shop steward and employer is different from that of the collective agreement made by the union and employer. I will discuss the differences bellow.
If there is no union in an enterprise or establishment, shop steward can conclude a so-called “transitional collective agreement” with employer. This transitional collective agreement is valid for a period less than 2 years and is automatically replaced by the collective agreement concluded by the most representative union and employer if the said collective agreement provides workers with equal or more benefits than those provided by the transitional collective agreement. (Article 41, Trade Union Law)
In addition to shop steward and the most representative union, the bargaining council of the workers and employers can be established and authorized to act for and on behalf of the workers or employers at all bargaining levels in the event that there is a need for negotiation to conclude the collective agreement between the employer and many unions that do not have the most representative status or between many employers and many unions that do not have the most representative status. (Article 71, Trade Union Law)
3. Duration of the collective agreement
Pursuant to Article 70 of the Trade Union Law, the collective agreement concluded by the most representative union and employer can be for a definite or indefinite duration. If collective agreement is concluded for a definite duration, the duration will at least last 3 years. Upon the expiration of the collective agreement, if either party fails to reject or revise the collective agreement on the condition of three-month prior notice, the said collective agreement is deemed to be valid for the same duration of the previous collective agreement.
Based on the same Article 70, if the collective agreement is concluded for an indefinite duration, it can be rejected by either party; however, the said collective agreement continues being valid for the period of one year from the date of the receipt of rejection letter. The complaint repealing such collective agreement does not prevent the upholding of the said collective agreement for implementation or enforcement between the other parties who have signed the collective agreement.
4. Registration of collective agreement
According to Article 73 of Trade Union Law, once the collective agreement is concluded, it can be applied temporarily and immediately by both parties if there is a clause in the collective agreement that explicitly states about the temporary application of the said collective agreement. It is a requirement that collective agreement be registered with the Ministry in charge of labor. The collective agreement becomes effective one day after it has been registered.
This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice.