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Casino workers to bring dispute to National Assembly

Casino workers to bring dispute to National Assembly

Union leaders representing workers at the Tropicana Casino and Resort, in Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet town, are planning to take an industrial dispute that has raged for months all the way to the National Assembly in Phnom Penh.

Bot Vy, vice-president of the Free Trade Union’s Banteay Meanchey branch, is hoping that more than 300 workers at the casino will join him on a trip to the capital in coming days to demand certain conditions, including the re-instatement of two sacked union activists.

“We will hold a meeting together and change the way that we [make] demands — we will go to Phnom Penh tomorrow or after tomorrow,” Vy said yesterday.

“We are not forcing them [workers] to follow us, but we want them go with us happily and willingly,” the union leader said.

The Tropicana Casino and Resort has not budged on a series of worker demands after the latest two-day strike.

Among other things, workers at the popular border casino were demanding that the company reinstate two sacked union activists and back-pay them since the day of termination, Vy said.

He also wants the company to come good on a promise for a guaranteed maximum eight-hour day, paid sick leave if an employee provides a medical certificate and 18 days of annual leave, in addition to Cambodia’s 26 national public holidays.  

Hong Prakorb, deputy chief of the Banteay Meanchey provincial labour department, said he would wait for a formal response from the casino before taking further action in the dispute.

“The company representatives promised to give an answer to the workers’ demands tomorrow because they need time to discuss with their manager,” he said.

The Post could not reach representatives of the Tropicana Casino and Resort for comment yesterday.

In September, the casino agreed to 18 of 21 grievances, including the union’s demands in relation to annual leave, sick leave and set working hours, but workers maintain the company never actually followed through.

The casino has not agreed to reinstate sacked activists including former union leader Sath Ser, who was fired in March in a move he alleges was retribution for helping another worker who had been unfairly dismissed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at [email protected]