Cambodian government denies it’s holding up NagaWorld labour disputes

Protests against NagaWorld started in December last year.
Protests against NagaWorld started in December last year.

The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training says parties will probably need to sort out their differences in court.

Cambodia.- The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has issued a statement it denying that it’s responsible for stalled negotiations over the Nagaworld labour dispute. The ministry responded after being accused of inaction and indifference to the drawn-out conflict.

It said that since the parties were not willing to participate in collective labour resolution procedures, their differences will probably need to be settled in court.

The ministry added that 244 out of 373 former employees have accepted compensation offered by the company. A meeting has been scheduled for October 6 to mediate a solution for the remaining layoffs.

However, Chhim Sithor, head of the labour union at NagaWorld alleged that the ministry was not following the law. He told Phnom Penh Post: “What the workers are demanding is that the employer respects the law – especially in relation to discrimination against unions. 

“Employers are prohibited by law from using union membership as a reason to dismiss a worker, whether they use other crises as an excuse to do so, or not.”

In September, union activists asked the ministry to intervene on behalf of 150 former NagaWorld employees who are union members and leaders. 

NagaWorld employees began their strike on December 18 2021 in protest against NagaCorp’s layoffs and pay cuts that aimed to improve cost efficiency due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Government-mediated negotiations with the casino operator have failed to bear fruit.

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