Striking NagaWorld Employees Back to Work After Reaching Deal

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Striking workers protest outside the NagaWorld casino in Phnom Penh on January 9, 2020. (Hy Chhay/VOD)

More than 1,000 striking NagaWorld workers were poised to return to their jobs on Saturday after striking a deal to reinstate their union representative and receive higher wages.

Chhim Sithar, the union representative who was suspended in September amid a campaign to increase salaries, told the crowd of gathered workers on Friday afternoon that the union and company had reached an agreement.

“This is a win-win strategy,” Sithar told the workers, echoing one of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s favorite phrases.

According to rights group Licadho, the Labor Ministry mediated the meeting on Friday. Sithar would be reinstated and salaries would be raised “after further negotiation,” the group said.

“Going on strike was our last resort,” Sithar said.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court had issued an injunction against the strike earlier in the week as well as a summons against Sithar. The workers went ahead with the strike anyway on Thursday and continued for a second day on Friday.

The workers had asked for up to $300 a month for hotel staff and $500 for gambling-floor staff — an increase from about $200 and $300, respectively — citing rising living costs and NagaCorp’s ballooning profits.

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