NagaWorld denies targeting union members during layoffs

NagaWorld employees started a strike in December.
NagaWorld employees started a strike in December.

NagaWorld has defended its decision to lay off workers due to the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cambodia.- NagaWorld has denied allegations that it specifically targeted union employees when it laid off staff last year. The layoffs led to a month-long strike by casino workers and the arrest of senior union leaders and members.

In a statement posted by Fresh News and shared by VOD, the company has defended its decision to lay off workers due to economic difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The casino operator laid off more than 1,300 workers, most of whom received compensation packages. Nearly 400 workers rejected the packages and more than 200 demanded reinstatements.

NagaWorld denied picking union members and claimed union membership only dropped from 47 per cent to 42 per cent after the layoffs. However, according to the International Trade Union Confederation, 1,100 of the 1,329 laid-off workers are union members.

NagaWorld union leader Sithar Chhim led a strike from December 18 and claimed that NagaWorld workers were arrested by local officers during the protests. She herself was arrested on January 4, when two other union affiliates also turned themselves into police.

The casino workers union has made the release of all detained union members a precondition for returning to the negotiating table. Striking workers resumed their protest on Monday afternoon and said they did not believe NagaWorld’s claims of support for the union.

Labour Department spokesman Heng Sour said the government would continue to negotiate with workers and casinos. He was dismissive of workers who doubted NagaWorld’s intentions and commitment to solve the problem.

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