Casino workers from SJM Holdings Ltd are reportedly scheduling a new protest for Saturday, to demand changes to the company’s pay and promotion policies.
The protest, backed by labour activist group Forefront of the Macao Gaming, will include a march around the Lisboa and Grand Lisboa casino hotels (pictured), SJM Holdings’ flagship properties.
Weekends are usually peak times for gambling in the city’s casinos.
Workers decided to go ahead with the new protest after seeing no obvious signs of progress regarding their demands. Workers held a meeting with the government’s Labour Affairs Bureau last week.
Forefront of the Macao Gaming had reportedly requested a tri-party meeting to take place on Wednesday, involving representatives from the workforce, the Labour Affairs Bureau and SJM Holdings. The meeting however did not take place, the labour activist group says.
Saturday’s protest doesn’t include a strike, but Cloee Chao, secretary general of Forefront of the Macao Gaming, told Portuguese language newspaper Jornal Tribuna de Macau that several SJM Holdings workers are planning to miss work to attend the protest.
Ms Chao added that SJM Holdings workers would be using black T-shirts to clearly identify themselves as company staff. The move comes after executives from SJM Holdings stated that the majority of the people attending the recent protests against the company were not on its payroll.
She added the group is expecting a protest turnout of about 1,000 workers.
This is the latest step by Forefront of the Macao Gaming against SJM Holdings to demand better pay and promotion policies for the company’s workers. The group on August 30 promoted a work-to-rule protest at the Grand Lisboa. Forefront of the Macao Gaming claimed more than 1,000 employees joined. The figure included about 600 workers collectively taking sick leave.
The grouping last month also organised a demonstration outside the human resources office of SJM Holdings.
One day before the work-to-rule protest, SJM Holdings announced living subsidy increases for its staff starting from next year.
The gaming operator said it would award its employees annual subsidies equal to either 1.5 months or two months of their monthly salary. The measure will be effective until 2020.
One of the demands of Forefront of the Macao Gaming was for staff to receive 14 months of pay per calendar year.
The labour activist group has organised several worker protests on the streets since July on issues linked to pay and conditions in the Macau casino industry. A march targeting all six casino operators took place last month. The group estimated that about 7,000 people participated in the demonstration, although police put the attendance at around 1,400 people.
Other outdoor demonstrations organised by the labour activists have also focused on individual gaming operators – not only SJM Holdings but also against Sands China Ltd and against Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd.
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