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11 Sep 2021

Khy Sovuthy, CamboJA

Cambodia: Arbitration Council decide not to intervene in mass lay-off of NagaWorld Casino's workers; unions and labour rights decry the decison

"Arbitration Council will not consider demands of laid-off NagaWorld’s workers", 11 September 2021

The Arbitration Council … rejected consideration of the demands of 373 laid-off NagaWorld workers who had sought to counter the casino company’s mass layoff strategy.

The decision means the council will not intervene to prevent the layoffs, which NagaWorld first announced .... However, … the council did order NagaWorld to properly calculate severance packages and other benefits for these workers, a group that includes many union members and leaders…

Chhim Sithar, 32, is the president of the casino company’s Khmer Employees’ Labor Rights Support Union. She is one of the 373 laid-off workers who have resisted their severance to continue the fight to save their jobs.

Sithar told … the council’s … decision was a failure of judgment.

“Justice was delayed,” she said, adding that the council didn’t say whether workers were right or wrong in their dispute.

… Now, Sithar is urging NagaWorld to recalculate the severance packages for those who had already accepted compensation as part of their layoff, saying that these packages had been calculated incorrectly. She also dismissed NagaWorld’s argument that the layoffs were purely motivated by economics, saying that the challenge to the union presented by the staffing cut would pose a risk to the casino company’s workforce as a whole.

… Labor experts say the decision of the Arbitration Council have not decisively ended the layoff fight at NagaWorld.

Khun Tharo, a program coordinator with the labor rights group Central, said Friday’s development is not clear and has delayed a conclusion to the ongoing conflict…