Thousands of workers of the NagaWorld casino complex in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh were said to have gone on strike on Thursday, demanding better pay and working conditions, Reuters news agency reported.
The NagaWorld casino resort complex is promoted by Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp Ltd.
Reuters reported that “about 3,000″ NagaWorld workers joined Thursday’s strike in front of the casino resort complex. The workers were said to be demanding a “higher pay of US$300” a month for hotel employees; and “US$500 a month” for those that work on NagaWorld’s gaming floors, said the media outlet.
The report also cited some of the striking workers as saying that their starting wages were at between the range of “US$150 to US$250” a month. The workers were also reportedly seeking the reinstatement of their union leader, Chhim Sithar, who was said to have been suspended in September.
GGRAsia has approached NagaCorp for a comment on the strike, but had not received a reply by the time the story went online. But in a filing on Friday, the Hong Kong-listed company disputed the worker’s claims. The firm stated that “approximately 500 to 700 employees participated in an illegal gathering” on Thursday outside the NagaWorld property, and that “all business operations of the group remained normal”.
The NagaWorld operator recorded net gaming revenue of US$616.3 million for the nine months ended September 30, up 28.5 percent in year-on-year terms. NagaCorp has an exclusive licence to operate casinos in Phnom Penh and its surroundings. It started operations with the NagaWorld property, now referred to as Naga 1, which opened in December 2006. That property now links to Naga 2, an expansion that opened in November 2017. The overall complex is now known as NagaWorld Complex.
NagaCorp’s exclusive gaming rights in Phnom Penh was extended in November by the country’s government for a further 10 years, to December 31, 2045.
In July, NagaCorp reported net profit of about US$245.1 million for the first six months of 2019, a 36.1-percent increase over the corresponding period in 2018. The company had reported a net profit for full calendar year 2018 of US$390.6 million.
(Updated at 9.35am, Jan 10, to include a comment from NagaCorp)
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