Around 200 workers have resumed their strike against alleged labor rights violations and mass terminations at NagaWorld casinos in Phnom Penh.
Terminated and active workers from the Labor Rights Supported Union, led by prominent unionist Chhim Sithar, were confined to a small barricaded area opposite NagaWorld 2, next to the National Assembly.
A heavy security presence met the workers Monday morning, with a group of strike participants asked forcibly to move into the assigned protest area. Private security guards are lined up outside NagaWorld 2.
As workers continued to arrive at the strike, police have forced participants into the cordoned off area. Given the space constraints, strike organizers have asked journalists and anyone not part of the strike to leave the barricaded area, fearing the police will use any reason to break up the strike. Union workers are only allowing LRSU members with NagaWorld ID cards into the protest area.
“Where there is a lot of police I also feel scared,” said San Piseth, a 37-year-old casino floor supervisor. “We just came for a strike and not violence. I believe we will not touch them and they won’t touch us back.”
Deputy Phnom Penh governor Mean Chanyada is at the strike, at one point directing district security guards to take away small sticks that were being brought to attach to banners.
As organizers managed the workers and attempted to maintain social distancing, workers were initially quiet, but then cheered workers walking out of NagaWorld 2 to join the strike. After singing the Cambodian national anthem, they resumed cheering and chanting slogans as one worker used a megaphone to read out the workers’ demands.