Cambodia casino strike settled

Cambodia casino strike settled

NagaWorld workers to get pay rises of 18-30% in rare victory for labour

A worker holds up a placard during a protest for higher pay and better working conditions in front of the NagaWorld hotel and casino complex in Phnom Penh on Thursday. (Reuters Photo)
A worker holds up a placard during a protest for higher pay and better working conditions in front of the NagaWorld hotel and casino complex in Phnom Penh on Thursday. (Reuters Photo)

PHNOM PENH: Thousands of striking Cambodian workers of a Hong Kong-listed casino company returned to their jobs on Saturday after winning wage increases and the reinstatement of a suspended union leader in a rare labour victory.

About 3,000 workers had joined the strike in front of the NagaWorld hotel and casino complex, owned by Nagacorp Ltd, in Phnom Penh to demand higher wages. Workers there earn between US$150 and $250 a month.

The deal struck with NagaWorld also obtained the reinstatement of their union president, Chhim Sithar, who was suspended in September.

“Today, we returned to our shifts,” Hai Sopheap, 31, one of the strikers and union activist, told Reuters on Saturday. “This victory came out of our solidarity.”

Sopheap said NagaWorld had agreed to raise workers’ salaries by between 18% and 30%.

Strikes over pay and working conditions are common in Cambodia but comprehensive victory for workers is rare.

“The outcome will pave the way for the union to negotiate for other remaining demands,” said Khun Tharo, a programme coordinator at the Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights.

NagaWorld did not respond to requests for comment.

NagaCorp, which has the exclusive licence to operate in Phnom Penh, reported an estimated $1.8 billion in revenue last year, up from $1.5 billion in 2018.

Khiev Savuth, deputy director of the Labour Ministry’s labour dispute department, could not be reached for comment on Saturday. 


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