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Naga strike ends with mixed results

A casino strike that swelled to include more than 1,600 NagaWorld employees ended early yesterday with management agreeing to reinstate four fired workers, a union representative said.

Mam Rithy, president of the Cambodian Tourism and Service Workers Federation (CTSWF), said the workers, some having been on strike since Friday, would return today but would not be paid for the days they protested.

“We’re not fully happy with the negotiations,” Rithy said.

“We can say it has been a 30 to 40 per cent success because our sacked colleagues were reinstated.

“But our minimum wage and benefits are not showing signs of improving.”

NagaWorld’s decision to reinstate the four workers — two of whom are from the food and beverage department and two from the VIP section — came after four hours of negotiat-ions between casino bosses and union representatives at the Ministry of Labour.

Workers had also deman-ded that the casino offer a $150 minimum wage, comply with years-old Arbitration Council rulings and take act-ion against three managers.
No agreement was reached on those points.

NagaWorld human resour-ces director Andrew Chan said during the meeting it was “company policy” to cut the salaries of those who were on strike because it resulted in significant financial losses for the casino, the extent of which he would not reveal.

The company was considering other demands, Chan  said. “We have more than 4,500 staff; we’re running a big company so we need time to make a decision,” he said.

Chan said his casino was the first Cambodian company to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and was paying the average card dealer a base salary of $110.

CTSWF said NagaWorld should pay staff at least $120 to $150 a month, because its revenue in the first six months of 2012 was $130 million.

Sum Pharen, deputy chief of labour disputes at the Ministry of Labour, said he had facilitated discussions.

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