Some gaming employees at casino hotel Grand Lisboa (pictured), in Macau, are on Saturday taking industrial action against the property’s owner and operator SJM Holdings Ltd, a union leader said.
The protest involves dealers, pit supervisors and pit managers, said Cloee Chao, secretary general of labour activist group Forefront of the Macao Gaming. The group is supporting the action, she told GGRAsia. The action started during a shift change at 6am, she said.
The plan includes some staff working to rule, some reporting late and some calling in sick, Ms Chao said. Workers will also refuse to work overtime.
SJM Holdings casino staff are calling for a 10-percent salary increase and changes to promotion policies.
Ms Chao was unable to say how many employees were joining the protest as of 10.30am. She said SJM Holdings had moved workers from some of its other casinos in Macau to Grand Lisboa, its flagship property, to prevent any disruption in operations. Weekends are usually peak times for gambling in the city’s casinos.
Forefront of the Macao Gaming had considered organising an all-out strike at Grand Lisboa, but dropped the idea because it would have “have too much impact” on the industry, Ms Chao said. She added some Grand Lisboa employees were willing to carry on with the work to rule protest until SJM Holdings met their demands.
The grouping earlier this month organised a demonstration outside the firm’s human resources offices to protest against the company’s pay and promotion policies.
Meanwhile, SJM Holdings Ltd has announced living subsidy increases for its staff starting from next year, public broadcaster TDM reported on Friday.
The gaming operator said it would award its employees annual subsidies equal to either 1.5 or two months of their monthly salary. The measure would be effective until 2020, TDM said.
One of the demands of Forefront of the Macao Gaming was for staff to receive 14 months of pay per calendar year.
As at 30 June 2014, SJM Holdings had approximately 21,700 full-time employees, the company said in its interim results statement on August 13.
“The group’s employee turnover rate was minimal in the first half of 2014,” the firm added in its filing, adding that it “regularly reviews the remuneration policy and evaluates staff performance”.
The Forefront of the Macao Gaming has organised several worker protests since July on issues linked to pay and conditions in the Macau casino industry. The latest – targeting all six casino operators – took place on Monday. The group estimated that about 7,000 people took part in the demonstration, although police put the attendance at around 1,400 people.
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