NagaWorld Protesters Kicked by Police as Negotiations Stall

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NagaWorld protesters are forced onto buses on May 11, 2022. (Mam Sovathin)
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NagaWorld labor negotiations remained at a stalemate as fired union workers continued to attempt to protest outside the casino complex.

Workers have continued their protests in Phnom Penh and have been met with severe police action, including protesters getting kicked while being shoved onto buses outside the NagaWorld 2 casino on Wednesday. Around 130 workers were again confronted by police, terminated worker Mam Sovathin said.

Kong Sokhom, another protesting worker who still works at the casino, said she was initially shocked when a police official pinched her hard and had to be pulled away by his colleagues.

“I laughed after that. He pinched me and then pushed me on the bus. And some authorities had to pull him out,” she said.

Protesters forced onto buses on May 11. (Mam Sovathin)

Sokhom said protestors were returning to the casino almost every day, only taking short breaks to rest. The authorities continued to take them on buses near Phnom Penh Safari park and then dropping them off at the new Freedom Park in Russei Keo district.

At the same time, five union representatives met with NagaWorld and the Labor Ministry on Wednesday, the eighth negotiation meeting to end without a resolution.

Union president Chhim Sithar, who was recently re-elected to head the union, was not optimistic heading into the meeting, saying there was no compromise in sight. Her outlook had not changed after the meeting ended Wednesday evening.

 “It is like before. The company still rejects all of our requests. There was no result,” she said.

The union has asked NagaWorld to find jobs for 200-odd terminated workers, a demand workers say the casino has refused during the negotiations.

The union also delivered the results of its 10-day leadership election to the Labor Ministry on Monday. The ministry will now have to re-register the union, and Heng Sour, a ministry spokesperson, did not respond to requests for comment.

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