A Philippines senator has tabled a resolution in the upper house of the country’s legislature calling for the Senate to look at the circumstances surrounding the reported suspension of some workers at the City of Dreams Manila casino resort.
A spokesman at the venue – a property operated by Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp, a unit of Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd – told Reuters news agency in early August that management had “suspended“ 100 workers – representing about 2 percent of the workforce – citing the need to cut costs.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper reported this week that Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago stressed in her resolution that it was “the duty of the government to protect workers from abusive practices”.
Charisse Chuidian, vice president of public relations at City of Dreams Manila, told GGRAsia in an email on Wednesday: “… the temporary suspension of certain employees at City of Dreams Manila, affecting less than 2 percent of our total manpower, is a business decision to enhance cost effectiveness and efficiency in the interest of the company and all the stakeholders, primarily, our employees. It’s a proactive stance, though painful, which was made in consultation with the Department of Labor and Employment, prior to its implementation.”
On July 31, Melco Crown Philippines reported its second quarter results. They showed that the Philippines unit’s consolidated comprehensive loss for the three months ended June 30 had widened by 27 percent from the prior-year period to PHP1.82 billion (US$39.6 million).
The City of Dreams Manila property had a soft opening on December 14 and an official one on February 2.
Senator Santiago warned in her resolution that the casino operator might be setting a “precedent for other employers and business owners to suspend workers when convenient, with utter disregard for these workers’ rights”.
Ms Chuidian told us: “… we will be pleased to cooperate with the local authorities and provide information that will explain and support our decision, which is essential for the long-term sustainability of business. It is compliant with labour laws. City of Dreams [Manila] adheres to the highest standards of business ethics, and is committed to contributing to the growth of leisure and tourism in the Philippines.”
(Updated 8.25pm, Sept 2)
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