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NagaWorld to hold firm in labour dispute

PHNOM Penh’s Naga-World Hotel and Casino says it will not adhere to a verdict issued this month by the Secretariat of the Arbitration Council ordering the reinstatement of four union members who were fired last year.

In a letter to the Ministry of Labour dated Tuesday, NagaWorld director of human resources, Gregory Goh, insisted that the secretariat lacked the jurisdiction to rule on the dispute.

“The Arbitration Council does not have the responsibility to resolve the complaint regarding the annulled contracts,” Goh wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Post. “The solution from the Arbitration Council is in complete contradiction of its duty.”

On February 16, the Arbitration Council issued a verdict instructing NagaWorld to allow union members to carry out their activities on company premises, and to reinstate four union members fired last February: Sok Narith, Leuk Phin, Pich Sovaty and Sophann Dara.

The four were part of a group of 14 dismissed from the company in February of last year. NagaWorld says the firings were the result of poor performance, though the workers say they were fired after a dispute over bonuses. The other 10 employees who were initially dismissed have since returned to work.

In July, Gregory Goh filed a complaint with the Phnom Penh Municipal Court accusing the 14 of defamation and incitement, though the court dismissed those charges in October.

In a letter to the Cambodian Tourism and Service Workers Federation (CTSWF) dated Tuesday, Bo Chan Veasna, chief of the Secretariat of Arbitration Council, said the council’s recommendations could not be implemented without the consent of both parties.

Sok Narith, who is also the vice president of the CTSWF, said he hoped the NagaWorld management would return to the negotiating table.

“We want them to reconsider because we don’t want to challenge each other,” he said. “We want to negotiate rather than holding a strike or a demonstration.”

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