NagaWorld Workers Summoned in ‘Breaking and Entering’ Complaint

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Protesters outside the NagaWorld 2 casino in Phnom Penh on September 1, 2022. (Kay Nara/VOD)
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Four NagaWorld protestors have asked for a delay to a court summons related to a complaint by the casino corporation alleging they illegally entered the premises.

Fired workers from the casino have been protesting against NagaWorld since December last year, with more than a dozen workers arrested, jailed and later released. However, four workers who are still working at the casino were summoned to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court this week concerning a complaint filed by NagaWorld.

The complaint lists Article 299 of the Criminal Code dealing with “breaking and entering into dwelling place” and holds a maximum prison sentence of one year. 

According to union president Chhim Sithar, Seak Panha and Choub Sorphorn were summoned to appear in court on Monday, Sok Sothavuth on Tuesday, and Net Chakriya on Wednesday. All four have asked for a delay.

VOD could not reach court spokesperson Plang Sophal on Monday.

Panha, one of the summoned workers, said she was not part of the 1,300-odd fired workers last year and, while she was still on the payroll, had taken time off to advocate for her fellow union members. She got the October 17 summons only two days prior on the 15th.

She was unaware why NagaWorld had filed the complaint or what specific incident it was related to but suspected it was meant to intimidate the remaining protesters.

“I’m surprised after I got a summon. This is just a labor dispute. I got a summons from the Phnom Penh Municipal Court due to the complaint of Naga company which is a violation of labor rights,” she said.

Chhim Sithar, the union’s president, confirmed that three of the four workers — Panha, Sophorn and Chakriya — were current employees of the casino.

NagaWorld union members were arrested and detained in prison earlier this year. They were released after they agreed to sign letters to try and find a resolution to the labor dispute. Multiple rounds of negotiations have resulted in no compromise and workers are protesting weekly outside one of the casino complexes in the capital.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. on October 18 to include comments from Chhim Sithar.

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