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NagaWorld strikers disband their demonstration

Striking casino workers who were forcibly evicted from park land opposite NagaWorld on Tuesday agreed yesterday to temporarily suspend their protest and go home, a union official said.

Sok Narith, deputy secretary-general of the Cambodian Tourism and Service Workers’ Federation, said Phnom Penh governor Pa Socheatvong had met with the casino workers’ representatives yesterday morning.

During the meeting, he had promised them “a solution”, on the condition they moved on from where they had spent most of the past week campaigning for a wage increase, Narith added.

“The meeting took place at 11am this morning,” he said.

“The governor told us to maintain public order outside the casino and instructed us not to use the park or the front of the casino for protesting – or he won’t talk to us about a resolution.

“We agreed and all protesters returned home to wait for a resolution at 3pm [today].”

Workers have been demanding NagaWorld management increase the minimum wage at the casino to $150 per month and also award a pay hike to workers who receive above that amount.

Security guards and police cracked down on hundreds of strikers on Tuesday, dismantling tarpaulins and detaining 19 workers and their union leaders, including 11 women. All were released later without charge.

Narith said yesterday that, in total, more than 1,000 workers had been involved in the strike on Tuesday.

Hundreds of workers took similar industrial action in February, taking to parkland outside the casino with placards bearing the names of managers to demand the resinstatement of sacked unionists.

Most of their demands were eventually met, but NagaWorld bosses refused to respond to the workers’ demands for a wage increase, representatives of an in-house union said.

Workers say they were told in February that the wage issue would be discussed after three months, prompting a strike this month when management refused to meet with them.

Socheatvong could not be reached.



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