Negotiations Go Nowhere as NagaWorld Holdouts Down to 181

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NagaWorld protesters after being put on a bus on March 24, 2022. (Pang Lita/Supplied)

Another round of negotiations between NagaCorp and its casino union in Phnom Penh came and went Friday with no progress, as the Labor Ministry announced the number of holdouts who have yet to accept termination packages is down to 181.

Four unionists — Sun Sreypich, Hay Sopheap, Ry Sovandy and Chhim Sokhorn — attended the negotiations. Newly reelected union president Chhim Sithar could not attend because she was busy, Sreypich said.

“There were no good results,” she said.

Workers from the NagaWorld casino-hotel facilities have been in dispute with the company since last year, when it laid off more than 1,300 employees. Most of those people were union members, and some were among the collective bargaining group’s top leadership. The union’s near-daily demonstrations were disrupted on Friday due to rain, said protester Leng Sophal.

The Labor Ministry has recently been issuing public updates about dwindling numbers of holdouts who have not accepted termination. On Wednesday, it said five more had taken compensation, “reducing the number of former employees who refuse to accept compensation to 181.”

The state was helping former workers find new jobs, it added.

Sithar, the union president, said she respected the decision of those who stopped protesting, saying strikers faced financial hardships and were under pressure. But those who remained were still committed to pushing for their demands, Sithar said.

“It’s normal to struggle for a long time,” she said.

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