Striking Cambodian casino workers are returning to the NagaWorld deal

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – Thousands of striking Cambodian workers from a Hong Kong-based casino company returned to work on Saturday after gaining wages and reinstalling a suspended union leader in a rare job victory.

Around 3,000 workers had joined the strike in front of Nagacorp Ltd’s NagaWorld hotel and casino complex to demand higher wages in Phnom Penh. Workers are paid between $ 150 and $ 250 a month.

The agreement reached with NagaWorld also resulted in the reinstatement of its union president Chhim Sithar, who was suspended in September.

“Today we returned to our shifts,” Hai Sopheap, 31, one of the strikers and union activists, told Reuters on Saturday, adding, “This victory came from our solidarity.”

Sopheap said NagaWorld agreed to raise workers’ wages between 18% and 30%.

Strikes over pay and working conditions are common in Cambodia and workers’ victory is rare.

“The outcome will pave the way for the union to negotiate other remaining demands,” said Khun Tharo, program coordinator at the Center for the Alliance for Labor and Human Rights.

NagaWorld did not respond to requests for comments.

NagaCorp, which has the exclusive license to operate in Phnom Penh, reported an estimated $ 1.8 billion in sales last year after $ 1.5 billion in 2018.

Last year, the company had net sales of $ 616.3 million.

Khiev Savuth, deputy director of the Labor Disputes Department at the Ministry of Labor, could not be reached for comment on Saturday.

(Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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