Approximately 3,000 people were said to have gathered in Macau on Saturday to protest against what a casino labour group claimed were workplace policies of casino operator Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd.
The numbers for the gathering were given by the protest organiser, local activist group Professional for Gaming of New Macau. The police estimated about 850 took part in the rally, which occurred during heavy rain as Macau was affected by a tropical storm. Public broadcaster TDM reported the protest turnout figures as quoted by the organisers and by the police.
Protesters demanded from Melco Resorts better remuneration terms and a “summer bonus” for the company’s staff.
The rally also called for improvements to employer contributions made to an in-house retirement benefits fund, and urged Melco Resorts to enhance enforcement of smoking control policy inside its casinos.
The group gathered outside City of Dreams Macau (pictured), the firm’s flagship property in Cotai. It was not clear if all those taking part were Melco Resorts employees.
The same labour group held a protest march against Melco Resorts’ labour policies on August 1; nearly 2,200 people reportedly joined that protest, the organisers said at the time. The police estimated the turnout at about 1,300 people.
In an emailed statement to GGRAsia on August 1, a spokesperson for Melco Resorts stated the company had “processes and mechanisms in place” to listen to its employees. “We take great pride in offering a great working environment for our employees, and will listen to their issues directly; we also take internal and external factors into consideration when making decisions on these matters,” the person stated.
Last month, the same labour group organised a petition among staff at Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd urging the firm to issue a “summer bonus” to employees. The firm later announced what it termed a “one-off special discretionary bonus” equal to one month of base salary and guaranteed tips (if applicable), payable to “97 percent” of its non-management employees, namely those at senior manager level or below.
On July 13, casino operator Wynn Macau Ltd stated it was offering most of its staff a “special bonus” equal to one month of gross salary, with the gratuity payable on August 15. Earlier, in June, Macau casino operator Sands China Ltd said it was to pay on August 31 what it termed a “one-off special bonus” equivalent to one month’s salary, to eligible full-time workers of “qualifying grades”.
Rival Macau operator MGM China Holdings Ltd announced in February the issuing of a discretionary bonus, plus a “special bonus”, the latter equivalent to a 14th-month salary for eligible non-management team members.
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"Our main focus is just making sure – and particularly within Australia – to the maximum extent possible, that we can have uniformity [among different jurisdictions]"
Chief executive of the Australia-based Gaming Technologies Association