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Cambodian casino sacks, suspends workers in pay row

Published: 25-Jun-13 08:25AM

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NagaWorld hotel

 

PHNOM PENH (AFP) -- Hundreds of workers including croupiers, drivers and cleaners at Phnom Pehn's biggest casino have been fired or suspended after striking for higher wages in the latest bout of labour strife to hit the country, a union leader said Monday.

More than 400 workers at the NagaWorld hotel and casino have been sacked or suspended from their jobs, according to Sok Narith, vice president of the Cambodian Tourism and Service Workers Federation.

The workers were among "more than 1000" staff on strike since June 13 to call for their pay to be hiked from $80 to $150 a month and improved working conditions, Sok Narith told AFP.

"The strike is in accordance with the law," he added.

Hundreds more workers had received a text message from the casino management saying their contracts with NagaWorld have been "terminated with immediate effect," he said.

The company could not be immediately reached for comment, but an email apparently by NagaWorld to senior staff and seen by AFP said 413 workers had had their contracts "terminated/suspended".
    
The workers "have been identified to have been involved in the illegal strike against the company", the email added.

Hundreds of workers protested outside the casino on Monday demanding that they be reinstated.

Gambling is legal for foreigners in Cambodia and the country draws tens of thousands of Thais and Chinese -- whose own countries ban betting -- to its tables.

Cambodian workers have repeatedly demonstrated against low wages and tough conditions in the multibillion-dollar textile industry, which produces goods for top western brands.

Earlier this month, hundreds of garment workers had been fired from a factory making sportswear for US giant Nike after a series of pay protests.

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