More than 100 striking NagaWorld workers were arrested over the last two days, with 41 remaining in custody.
Cambodia.- Cambodian police have arrested more than 100 striking NagaWorld casino workers at for violating Covid-19 health protocols. Some 64 people were arrested at the casino complex on February 21 and 39 on February 22. According to local media reports, the arrests happened after two workers tested positive for Covid-19.
Of those arrested, 62 have been released and 41 remain in custody. Workers claim police used the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse to crack down on strikes. There were also claims of women being sexually harassed after being taken to an abandoned building that was once home to an NGO.
Meach Srey Oun told Radio Free Asia two workers were injured while being arrested and that security guards at the detention centre had touched the breasts of female strikers.
NagaWorld employees started a strike on December 18 2021 after government-mediated negotiations with the casino operator failed to bear fruit. IT began after NagaCorp implemented plans to reduce pay and lay off employees in order to improve cost efficiency due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In January, 15 NagaWorld workers were arrested after the Phnom Penh Municipal Court declared the strike illegal
Members of the Labor Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees of NagaWorld have demanded NagaWorld reverse redundancies, rehire some of those fired and increase the enhanced termination compensation for workers who have accepted severance arrangements.
Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of New York-based Human Rights Watch, stated: “The Cambodian authorities are stooping to new lows by bringing criminal charges in the guise of public health measures to end a strike.”