Cambodian Journalists Alliance Association

NagaWorld agrees to reinstate union representative, raise workers’ salaries

Almost 2,000 NagaWorld workers protested in front of the casino in Phnom Penh on Thursday to demanding the reinstatement of their union representative. Camboja

NagaWorld on Friday afternoon agreed to reinstate union representative Chhim Sithar and raise salaries between 18 and 30 percent for all staff, following two days of strikes.

The decision followed a meeting between the workers and company on Friday that was facilitated by the Labor Ministry and Chamkar Mon district authorities.

“All workers agreed to go back to work on Sunday,” said Khun Tharo, program manager at labor group Central, who confirmed the agreement.

“We welcome this result,” he added. “I think without the solidarity among the workers of NagaWorld, they would not have achieved this result.”

Sithar, president of the Naga union, was suspended in September after a defending a colleague who was carrying a T-shirt that had been printed as part of a campaign to demand higher wages.

Workers began a strike on Thursday seeking her reinstatement as well as raises across the board.

Ry Sovandy, gambling pit supervisor at NagaWorld, told CamboJA News that she and the other workers on strike were satisfied with the result.

“We just wanted the company to increase our salary to be appropriate for our livelihoods,” Sovandy said.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court had earlier issued an injunction against the workers’ strike, a decision that was criticized by 23 unions and NGOs, including Central, the Cambodian Center for Human Rights and Licadho.

“We observe that the protection of public order is not an adequate excuse for a court to suspend a strike freely decided upon by members,” their joint statement said.

Phnom Penh governor Khuong Sreng said on Friday that he did not want to see the problem between the company and workers continue.

“As we are the authorities, we want both sides to agree with each other, so we are coordinating between both sides,” Sreng said but declined to comment further.

Representatives of NagaCorp could not be contacted on Friday.