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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Naga lays off 15 staff, blames downturn

Naga lays off 15 staff, blames downturn

Naga finances

Figures from Naga’s published financial results as a company listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, as follows for 2008:

  • Total revenue - $193.5m
  • Total costs - $105.5m
  • Gross profit - $87.98 million
  • Net profit - $40 million
  • Dividend per share - $1.93

CITING losses stemming from the global economic downturn, the NagaWorld Hotel and Casino laid off 15 Cambodian employees on February 26, Sok Narith, the head of hotel's 1,000-member union, told the Post Wednesday.

Sok Narith, who was among those laid off after working at the hotel for 13 years, said the fact that the hotel axed Cambodian workers as opposed to higher-paid foreign employees amounted to "unfair treatment".

He said executives' claims that the firings had been necessitated by the downturn were "not true". Rather, he said, they were targeting employees involved in contract negotiations.

He said the union had become more forceful in pressing for workers' demands over the past year.

Daniel Lee, an executive at NagaWorld, said Wednesday that he could not comment on the firings because he was overseas.

"I am not aware of what are you taking about," he said. "I will be able discuss it with you on Saturday once I get more information from my staff."

Bath Sambo, president of the Cambodian Tourism and Service Worker Federation, said the February 26 layoffs were the first in the hotel industry to be attributed solely to the economic crisis.

Employee response

Sok Narith said the 15 workers had filed a complaint with the Ministry of Labour requesting that they be allowed to return to Naga to work.

He said the company had offered the laid-off employees a one-time payment of between US$5,000 and $10,000.

Sok Narith pointed to a financial report available on the website of Nagacorp Ltd, which owns the hotel, stating that the company's revenue totalled $193.5 million and that gross profit increased by 12.6 percent in 2008.

The same report also states, however, that net profit decreased by 20.3 percent - Naga is subject to an annual 12.5 percent tax increment until 2018.

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