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17 Oct 2022

Sovann Sreypich, CamboJA

Cambodia: Four female NagaWorld union strikers face criminal lawsuits filed by company while carrying out an ongoing strike

"NagaCorp Sues Strikers, Charges Could Carry Lengthy Prison Sentences", 17 October 2022

Four NagaWorld strikers could face up to ten years imprisonment following a lawsuit by their employer NagaCorp, alleging charges of breaking and entering, property damage and unlawful confinement in a summons to appear in Phnom Penh Municipal Court…

The lawsuit is the first filed by NagaCorp against current and former casino employees since hundreds went on strike … due to mass layoffs earlier that year, said Am Sam Ath, operation director of human rights group Licadho. But the four strikers have not yet been formally charged by the court, he added.

Striker Sok Thavuth said she and her three colleagues named in the lawsuit complied with the law while on strike.

“I saw the lawsuit, I was speechless because we did not do anything wrong,” she said. “The strike did not violate rights…as Naga[World] alleged.”

None of the strikers named in the lawsuit said they could recall any specific incident which might have triggered the lawsuit during their daily gatherings to strike outside the NagaWorld casino in accordance with Cambodian labor laws.

… NagaCorp and Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokespersons did not respond to requests for comment.

NagaCorp’s lawsuit was filed the same day a man identified by strikers as Chen Yiy Hwuan, son of billionaire NagaCorp senior CEO Chen Lip Keong, grabbed and threw the phone of a striker filming other strikers blocking Yiy Hwuan’s van outside a NagaWorld entrance…

At least 11 union members were previously imprisoned by Phnom Penh authorities since the strike began in December. They have since been released on bail…