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Court rules casino must rehire fired strikers

AFTER weeks of demonstrations marked by violent clashes between strikers and security, more than 1,800 NagaWorld employees are back to work following a court order.

A Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge yesterday ruled that the capital’s only resort casino must hire back striking employees -- about 400 of whom received termination emails or text messages last week -- including union representatives who lost their jobs, said Sok Narith, a former personnel delegate.

While happy about the judge’s decision, Narith said he was concerned about NagaWorld’s stipulation that the company would receive a “present” list of people involved in the strike upon reinstating the workers.

“We are happy but also worried, because the present list may be used for other purposes that are out of the principle,” Narith said. “We all want to have peace.”

The strike started June 13, when hundreds of workers left their posts demanding the casino's base salary be increased to $150 per month. Worker disputes at NagaWorld have been the subject of five Arbitration Council hearings since early 2009.

A Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge ruled the strike illegal the day after it began, and clashes between protesters and NagaWorld security guards and police injured several protesters as the strike continued.

Union representatives tried Monday to meet with NagaWorld officials for a conciliation session at the Arbitration Council, but the casino’s representatives did not attend.

A rise in base salary for employees was not included in the judge’s ruling.

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