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25 Jan 2022

Lay Sopheavotey and Meng Seavmey, Cambodianess

Cambodia: Naga World casino reports losses in profit to justify its mass layoffs; NGOs claims it is unacceptable while BHRRC concerns about attacks on HRDs

"Labor Activists Dismiss NagaWorld’s Statement as “Unacceptable”", 25 January 2022

Hong Kong-listed gambling giant NagaWorld announced … that their decision to lay off 1,329 members of staff … was a due to losses of $77 million…

In a rare public statement, NagaWorld claimed that the layoffs—which eventually culminated in an ongoing strike among former and current workers that began on Dec. 18 and continues today—were part of a series of cost reduction measures. Many staff who kept the jobs also saw a reduction in wages, but the company said that layoffs were chosen “based on business needs, past productivity, contribution and commitments,” adding that “union membership was not used as a criterion as is alleged by the union.”

Khun Tharo, a veteran advocate at local labor rights group CENTRAL, said the agreement arranged by NagaWorld is different from how the company actually implemented the agreement, particularly regarding compliance with the law…

Meanwhile …, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) issued a statement saying they were concerned “by ongoing allegations of labor rights violations at Nagaworld, Cambodia, particularly relating to the undermining of the right to freedom of association, incomplete payments and unfair dismissals.”

According to BHRRC, the alleged violations reflect a broader trend of increasing attacks against human rights defenders in Cambodia, with 93 attacks recorded between 2020 and 2021.

BHRRC said that 42 of these attacks were on peaceful protesters while one in five of the incidents targeted labor leaders and trade unionists…