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Poipet casino drags feet on promise

A casino in Poipet that pays wages only in Thai baht is yet to fulfil its promise to improve conditions for its 500 workers, a union representative said yesterday.

Workers are still working 12­-hour days – often without a break – at the Tropicana Casino, one of many gaming venues close to the Thai border in Banteay Meanchey province, Morm Rithy, vice president of the Cambodian Tourism and Service Workers’ Federation, claimed.

“The managers of the casino make their decisions outside the labour law, based entirely on what they want – this is how they manage their staff,” he said.

An agreement struck on September 10 was to have answered 18 of the workers’ 21 demands, which included issues of overtime, maternity leave and yearly leave, but bosses have yet to implement a single one.

A scheduled meeting to discuss the other three – including that three sacked union leaders be resintated – amounted to nothing at the weekend.

American Center for International Labor Solidarity country manager Dave Welsh said he would meet today with the district governor to discuss the inaction.

“Being paid in Thai baht is not unusual, but it’s emblematic of Thai companies operating on the border believing they are not subject to Cambodian Labour Law,” he said.

Welsh said maternity leave rights were also ignored, as was a workplace agreement that protected a number of other rights, and that “treatment of the union leaders is classic behaviour”.

Welsh called it a case of a hugely profitable company being able to take responsibility and pay workers a living wage.

Tropicana Casino could not be reached for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shane Worrell at shane.worrell@phonmpenhpost.com
Mom Kunthear at kunthear.mom@phnompenhpost.com

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