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5 Jan 2022

Danielle Keeton-Olsen, South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)

Cambodia: Police crack down on protesting casino workers after Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp announces mass lay-offs

"Cambodian police crack down on casino workers after lay-off negotiations with Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp stall", 5 January 2021

Cambodian police have detained more than two dozen current and former employees of the country’s largest casino, run by a Hong Kong firm, amid the workers’ 19-day strike to protest against mass lay-offs and alleged labour law violations last year.

Hundreds of workers at NagaWorld, a casino that is part of the sprawling leisure complex in the Cambodian capital owned by NagaCorp Ltd, have been on strike since December 18. They are calling for the reinstatement of 365 employees who were laid off last April and May.

NagaCorp management laid off 1,329 of its more than 8,000 employees in May, claiming financial troubles during the Covid-19 pandemic. The complex was forced to close early last year due to government-mandated lockdowns. NagaCorp reported its first losses in its listed history in its half-year report in 2021. [...]

On Tuesday, union leader Chhim Sithar, who was among the 1,329 people laid off last year, was detained by police. [...]

NagaCorp has not responded to an emailed request for comment that was sent to several members of the company and its public relations firm. It announced to shareholders on December 19 that business was not impacted by the strike, adding that the company had terminated 1,329 workers in a “mutual separation plan” but 360 of the laid-off employees had rejected the plan.

The company added that it had “contacted the Ministry of Labour, Phnom Penh City Hall, police authority and expressed the group’s legal position concerning the potential strike”. [...]

Part of the following timelines

Cambodia: Union members arrested & convicted after leading strike; NagaWorld casino announces layoffs and slashes pay, despite profitable year

Cambodia: Police crack down on protesting casino workers after Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp announces lay-offs